A. THE GREAT DEPRESSION
DAYBOOK II: Jan. 29, 1939, to Dec. 31, 1940
(Apple Grove, Ohio, and Pomeroy, Ohio)
(continued from Daybook I)
[Jividen house, Apple Grove, Ohio] Jan. 29: Sunday. Warm today, drizzling rain most of the day; real foggy this evening. Miss [Cora] Parr was here this afternoon. Ralph did Dan’s [Hartinger] chores this evening. Carpenter came down and took his bus1 home this afternoon. 30: Very spring-like this morning, warm and sunny; clouded up at noon, and is terrible tonight. Cold windy, and a driving rain. Ruth went to school today but has an awful cough tonight. Ralph sowed cabbage seed today. Billy [Fox] helped rake and get the ground ready. 31: The last day of January. Dark and cold this morning. The sun came out this afternoon. Ralph worked around the hothouse.2 I baked a pile of cookies and studied the flower catalogs that came today. Ralph went to Letart this afternoon and rode home on Russell’s [Dad’s brother] bus. Got a box of oats with a red plate,3 which makes me a set of six. Kathryn Krider Manikin, 18, buried in Letart Cemetery.
[Jividen house, Apple Grove, Ohio] Feb. 1: The water was up in the bottom4 below the house this morning, the first time this spring. Today has been sunny and cold. We went out home today, and Ralph and Billy Fox went to Middleport and Billy traded cars. Dad was very poorly today. Hampton Carson5 and Clifford Morris6 were there. We did not get home until after school was out, and Ruth was down at Miss [Cora] Parr’s. 2: It has rained most all day and is raining tonight. I did a hard washing today, and Ralph put in his time at the hothouse and Letart. 3: It rained all night, all morning, and turned to snow this evening. The ground is white tonight. River is raising fast. Ralph went to Letart this afternoon and again this evening. Ruth says that Mary Shields’ mother looks “more terribler than you do, Mommy.” 4: It seemed very cold all day, but the sun shone brightly, and part of the snow is melted off. Water was over the Johns Run bridge this morning. Ralph walked to Letart this morning, and this evening went to Pomeroy with Ross Norris. 5: [Sunday.] Sun shone brightly today, still cold, tho. The backwater was frozen this morning, and dozens of crows were walking around on it. We went out home in Dan’s truck this afternoon, went out and down Jenny Watt Hollow, and over thru Dorcas. 6: A dark gloomy day. The water dropped a few inches. It is raining and wind blowing tonight. School bus didn’t come up the road today. 7: Bright sunshine all day, warmer. The water was off of the bridge this morning and dropped back fast today. Ralph worked at strawing the berries this afternoon. Ruth washed and Eleanor wiped the dishes today all by themselves. Ruth says, “People keep a-askin’ me if I wash dishes, and I ain’t a-gonna lie to ’em, so I wanta wash ’em this time, then I can say ‘yes’.” 8: Bright, sunny day, and as windy as March. Ralph went out home and got Dad’s Ford.7
Grandpa Emmett and Grandma Maggie Jewett, Model A Ford coupe in the background: probably Portland, Ohio, about 1930.
I started to read Gone with the Wind.8 9: Dark, gloomy day, raining lightly tonight. Ralph took Dad and Mom to Gallipolis to Dr. Bean. The doctor said Dad was sound as a dollar with the exception of a far-advanced case of hardening-of-the-arteries.9 10: An ugly rainy, cold day. We got Ruth at school about the last recess and went out to Dad’s. The children and I stayed out [home]. 11: Bright and sunny, cold. Dad was determined to have chicken for dinner, so we cooked one. 12: Sunday. Bright sunshine all day, and cold. Ralph came out after us and brought us home. We stopped at the cemetery10 on the way home this evening. Mom was speaking today of her four uncles, John, George, Jim, and Ballard Archer11 fighting in the Civil War on the side of the South. They lived at Bluefield, Va., and when West Virginia was set off,12 the state line went between their house and barn, making the house in one state, the barn in the other. I was at Grandpa Archer’s the day his sister, Judy Caldwell,13 came from Virginia to see him, having not seen him for over 60 years. When he met her at the gate, she said, “Well, Jack, is this you?” She ran away from home at age 17 to get married, and when he saw her again she was in 80 [her 80s]. 13: Sort of spring-like today, cool but sunny, and a March wind. The backwater stays just so high, doesn’t seem to raise or fall. I did a big washing today and ironed part of it tonight. Ralph went out to his Dad’s [Pearl B. Wickline] today. 14:14 Dark, threatening day, windy, raining tonight. Ralph finished strawing the berries up here. We went to the [Letart] P.T.A. meeting tonight. A car [Farrell Sheets’s] went over the Johns Run bridge today [i.e., in spite of the high water]. Ruth and Eleanor pass for twins. I suppose I have answered that question 200 times: “Are they twins?”15
Ruth and Ellie Wickline, blue-eyed blondes, studio portrait: Racine, Ohio, 1939.
15: Rained all night and turned to snow today. A very ugly day, getting much colder. The children and I went down to Parr’s and spent the evening. William Powell, 81, buried today in Letart Cemetery: Muggy and Mike Powell’s dad. 16: The paper said that last night was the coldest of the winter. It was cold today, but the sun shone brightly. Ralph scattered straw on the berries at Dan’s. I planted my coleus and giant petunia seed. 17: A little warmer today, mostly cloudy. Ralph helped haul hay and fodder for Dan this morning. 18: A nice sunny day, not very cold. Ralph chored for Dan morning and evening. 19: Sunday. A warm cloudy day, very windy. First time the backwater has been out of the [creek] bottom below the house since Feb. 1 [i.e., the flood (backwater from the Ohio River) has finally receded]. Ralph went out and got Dad and Mom16 this morning. Took them back this evening, left the car, and Ott Boston brought him home. Poor Dad is in a little worse shape every time I see him. I had beef soup today, and he liked it so well. Ralph cut his hair and shaved him.17 He always seems to like to come to my house. I wonder if he will ever come again.18 20: Cloudy most of the day, and rather warm. A very hard windstorm last night about midnight. Got a load of coal today. Ralph worked until 9 o’clock tonight for [Dan] Hartinger’s, cleaning the chicken house—for nothing, as usual. 21: It was spring this morning. I went outdoors and planted poppies and sweet peas, planted pansies and larkspur in boxes [flats] in the house. But tonight it is winter, several inches of snow on the ground, and snowing hard since about 4 o’clock. Ralph hauled dirt to dirt the cabbage19 with this afternoon. Asbury Stover, 68, of Antiquity, buried in Letart [Falls] Cemetery today. 22: One of the worst days we have had this winter. Real cold, windy, has snowed all day. So cold that we let [Cloice, a friend Dad hunted with] Badgley’s old Ranger come in by the fire tonight. 23: Very cold today. All we could do was to fire [keep the fire going]. The backwater is up in the bottom again. The Athens paper [Messenger] reported 12° below zero last night. 24: The snow melted today, and we had a little sunshine. Ralph dirted cabbage. 25: Cloudy and warm today. Ralph dirted cabbage. I did a big washing. The old Cooper house and Roush’s store20 burned at Racine this morning. 26: Sunday. Cloudy all day, with a few sprinkles. 27: Warmer today, some sunshine this afternoon. I heard a snipe21 this evening. Sounded like Spring. I sewed today. Ralph drove bus 2 trips.22 Miss Parr came and spent the evening. I took a slip23 off of my red coleus and pink geranium. 28: Very high wind today. Ralph drove 2 trips and finished dirting the cabbage. Eleanor says Ruth has been making her “drink little sips of coffee” to keep her from growing bigger than Ruth so she can be the boss.24
[Jividen house, Apple Grove, Ohio] Mar. 1: Cool today, cloudy this morning, and sunny after noon. The backwater is still up above the bridge. Ralph drove [school bus] 2 trips and went to Pomeroy with Ross [Norris]. I sewed on a dress for Eleanor. 2: Cold today, but bright and sunny. Ralph drove 2 trips. I finished Eleanor’s dress. 3: The ground was frozen very hard this morning. The flower plants outdoors looked worse than any morning yet. Warmed up a little today; the sun shone brightly. Ralph drove bus 2 trips and started to plow. 4: I washed and ironed. In the evening Famous Roush25 took the children and I out to Dad’s. It started to rain about dark and rained real hard all night. 5: Sunday. Very spring-like, warm and sunny. Dad had had a rooster caught for 3 days in hopes we would come, so we cooked it for dinner. Ralph came out at noon in Dan’s [Hartinger’s] truck. After dinner he took Dad for a ride. Dad had been worse last 6 days than ever before, but seemed better when we got there. We came home about 4 o’clock. Heard the first little “knee-deep” frogs26 tonight. 6: A typical March day: high winds, some clouds, some sunshine. Colder tonight. Ralph sowed tomato seed. Louie’s [Miller] brother-in-law started to work for Dan. My coleus are coming up today. 7: A cold bright day. Ralph drove 2 trips, and in the evening we went to P.T.A. at Letart [Falls]. 8: A spring day. Ralph drove bus 2 trips and fertilized strawberries. 9: Warm and sunny. I made a lettuce bed today. Ralph drove bus 2 trips, and finished his plowing. 10: Very pleasant, warm and sunny. I washed today, ironed tonight, went to the cemetery this afternoon. Ralph drove bus 2 trips. 11: Soft rain began about the time we got up this morning and fell till about 5 this evening, when the sun came out for a little while. Ralph took our hog to Parkersburg with Bob Burnam, Carpenter, and Doug Sales. Hog weighed 230 [lbs.] at $7.40 [cwt]. We had thunder today to “wake the snakes.”27 Seems some cooler tonight. 12: Sunday. All kinds of weather today: bright sunshine, driving rainstorm, and very hard wind. Warm this morning, cold tonight. “Cas” Warner,28 Mom’s aunt, buried today at Carmel.29 Paul and Freda Manuel’s boy born today. 13: Sunny today, rather cool. Ralph drove bus 2 trips, and went with Richard Roush to get us a load of coal. I baked cookies, scrubbed, patched, and other things. 14: Very pretty day, warm and sunny. Ralph drove bus 2 trips, and cleaned up the coal pile. I helped shovel coal this morning. Ralph run the wheelbarrow; we had our own W.P.A. project. This afternoon Eleanor and I went fishing in the backwater, but didn’t see anything but minnows. Ruth was 7 today. Ralph got her a pair of little pink socks. I gave her a quarter, and we had an extra nice supper and a cake with 7 candles. Louie set the first strawberry plants today. 15: Cold, blustery rain till about 3 o’clock, when it cleared off. Robins have nearly bursted their throats today singing. Ralph drove 2 trips. I sewed on a dress for myself. 16: Much colder last night and today. Ralph drove bus 2 trips, and I sewed today. Dan resigned his conservation job yesterday. 17: Cold, high winds, and snow flurries. I washed today and did most of the ironing. Ralph drove 2 trips, and attended the Tim Bishop kidnapping hearing in McCullough’s court at Pomeroy. 18: Very cold ugly day, snow flurries. Leonard Roush took the children and I out to Dad’s about 1 o’clock. Dad was worse than ever before. He had sold his horse [Mollie] and the big old black and white spotted cow. Ralph and Dan took Dan’s big bull “Comet” to Gallipolis market. Brought $109. 19: Sunday. Cold but bright and sunny. Froze ice last night, 2 inches thick. Ralph came out to Dad’s after us about 4 o’clock, shaved Dad, and we had supper, then went to Glenn’s30 a few minutes before coming home. Earl Morris31 was at Dad’s today. Thermometer got down to 12° last night. 20: Warmed up a little today. Ralph drove bus 2 trips, and went to Pomeroy with Dan. I scrubbed and cleaned up the house. 21: We celebrated the arrival of spring by making garden32 today. Planted peas, beets, carrots, and onions. Miss [Cora] Parr came up this morning to show me her new teeth. 2 bus trips. 22: Warm and fair. Ralph drove 2 trips, and wheel-harrowed. 33 Planted the rest of my coleus seed today. 23: Warm and sunny. Ralph drove bus 2 trips, and run fertilizer in cabbage ground. I cleaned the upstairs, and planted sweet corn. Ruth and Eleanor went down to Miss Parr’s by themselves this evening. 24: Ralph and I set cabbage this morning; Dave and Leonard Roush helped us this afternoon. We set 19 rows. Very warm today and sunny. 25: We finished setting the cabbage today with Dave and Leonard helping. Set 29 rows today. Paid them $2.50 each tonight. The children picked handfuls of Johnnies34 down on the riverbank. 26: Sunday. Kind of cloudy and windy, and a few sprinkles now and then. We went down to the creek this evening and hunted odd rocks. Old Ranger35 came tonight and coaxed to be [let] in. 27: It has rained all day, not very hard. I planted beans and cucumbers this morning and did a big washing. Ralph cold-framed36 tomatoes and drove bus 2 trips. 28: Cloudy all day. Ralph cold-framed tomatoes, Billy Fox helping. Drove 2 trips. 29: Cloudy all day, a few light showers. Ralph drove 2 trips, and cold-framed tomatoes. I ironed and set out my cabbage in the garden. 30: A very dark, gloomy day: hard rain this morning, colder tonight, and very high wind. Ralph drove 2 trips, and went to Pomeroy with Billy Fox to the [Tim] Bishop [kidnapping] hearing, but no one was allowed in the court room.37 He bought a new hat for himself and went to Racine tonight. 31: Dark and cool this morning. The sun came out real bright this afternoon. Ralph fixed up fence today, and drove 2 trips, and went to Letart [Falls] this evening. [Billy] Casto and Frances Lewis married today.
Ellie and Ruth Wickline with our Dutch bob haircuts: portrait taken in Racine, Ohio, 1939.
[Jividen house, Apple Grove, Ohio] Apr. 1: April showers, sunshine and clouds. We went to Racine tonight, and the children got their first haircut38 at the barber’s. 2: Sunday. Very bright sunshine this morning; cold and dark this afternoon. I went down to Miss [Cora] Parr’s this afternoon about 3 o’clock and stayed several hours. 3: Bright sunshine all day, but real cool. We went out to Dad’s in Russell’s [Dad’s youngest brother] car and stayed till 2 o’clock. I brought home 13 flower slips.39 We stopped at the cemetery on the way home. Ralph drove [school bus] 2 trips. 4: Sunny but still cold. Ralph drove 2 trips, and reset40 cabbage, and went to Letart [Falls] tonight. 5: A cool, dark, dreary day. Ralph cold-framed tomatoes, drove 2 trips, and went to Letart this evening. 6: Raining when we got up this morning, rained most all day. Ralph drove 2 trips. 7: Snow covered the ground during the night, melted off by noon. A cold, dark, ugly day. Ralph drove 2 trips and went after a load of coal. I washed today. 8: Ralph got a pig this morning from Stewarts for $4. We went to the [Letart Falls] cemetery and sodded up [Audrey’s] little grave about noon. This afternoon we had rain, and this evening, snow. 9: Easter Sunday. It turned out to be a fairly nice day after all. Sun shone, and it warmed up quite a bit. It clouded up and sprinkled a little after dark. 10: Very spring-like today: warm, sunny, and a high wind dried up the ground ever so much. Ralph drove 2 trips, and cold-framed tomatoes, and went to Pomeroy to a bus-drivers’ meet tonight. 11: A rainy day. Ralph drove bus 2 trips and we went to P.T.A. tonight. Ralph drove tonight out on the hill 2 trips and down the road 2 [trips]. 12: Sunny most all day, but a bitter cold north wind blowing. Ralph finished his cold-framing in the little bed, and drove bus 2 trips. 13: Sunny today. It has warmed up a little. Ralph drove 2 trips today, and went to Pomeroy, and got himself a suit. 14: Dark, windy, threatening day, light showers tonight. Ralph drove 2 trips. 15: We had sharp lightning in the night and hard rain. Has rained pretty steadily all day. This seems to be a very backward41 spring. The woods look nearly as dead as in January. 16: Sunday. Rained hard all last night and several times today. The backwater came up very fast. The rain washed my garden all into the road. Ralph shot a wild duck in the field below the house. I heard a broadcast from the museum in [Cairo] Egypt this morning, in which they blew for several minutes the two trumpets of Tutankhamen: a silver trumpet and a copper one, echoing around the world after laying in the tomb for 3000 years, silent. 17: Today was mostly cloudy, with sprinkles several times. The sun came out a couple of hours this afternoon. No school today. The river came over the Johns Run bridge about 4 o’clock this afternoon. 18: Rained in the night, very muggy and wet this morning. River still raising. I washed today. 19: Cloudy and cold. The river had dropped about a foot at dark tonight. Miss Parr came up this morning. I ironed and scrubbed this afternoon. Ralph went to Pomeroy tonight. 20 [in Dad’s handwriting]: Well, book, this is the second worst day I’ve ever had. Grace left me. Feelin’ mighty blue. 21: Drove bus 2 trips, had no school.42 Took children out to Dad Jewett’s. Grace came home with us. May I be able to prove I can be a man. God help. 22 [Mom’s handwriting resumes.]: Cool today. Ralph dug the ivy, or whatever it is, out of several rows of strawberries. 23: Sunday. The first really spring-like day: warm and sunny. Mary Green and baby were here this afternoon. Ralph took the eighth-graders43 to Old Man’s Cave44 on a picnic. 24: Another warm, sunny day. Ralph took the cow [Pet] to Johnnie Wolfe’s [to be bred?] this morning. Plowed the cabbage the first time this afternoon, and drove 2 trips. 25: Real warm today, about 86°. Ralph finished plowing the cabbage, and started to plow the tomato ground, and drove bus 2 trips.
Ruth Wickline, first-grade school photo: Letart Falls, Ohio, 1938-1939 school year.
26: Warm. A light sprinkle this morning made the ground soften up just fine to work. Walter Roush plowed, disced, and cultipacked45 tomato ground all day for us. Ralph went to Racine this morning to take Mr. Hayman [teacher] and the 8th graders down. Eleanor and I went, too. This afternoon he hoed cabbage, and I planted flowers. We went to the cemetery before school was out this evening. Ralph drove bus 2 trips. 27: Walter Roush worked on the tomato ground today. Ralph worked in the strawberries this afternoon. Rained quite a bit last night. The ground was pretty wet this morning. I did a big washing today. Ralph drove 2 trips. I mowed the yard. This was the last day of school. 28: Rather cooler today. Ralph finished his tomato ground and run the fertilizer. I ironed, and the children and I went down to the creek and gravel pit to hunt odd rocks. The woods have started out46 in the last couple of days. 29: It has been a cool, sunny day. This morning Ralph hoed cabbage. This afternoon we all went to Athens in Dan’s truck.47 Stopped at Shumway’s greenhouse coming home and got a beautiful pink double petunia and a lantana. It surely smells like frost tonight. 30: Sunday. A very ugly day: dark, cold, and a terrible wind blowing. A few light sprinkles. I heard the first whippoorwill tonight. It is an old-time saying that you can go barefoot when you hear the whippoorwill.48 We have had a big fire in the heater all day, and I have not taken off my heavies49 yet, much less my shoes. William S. Chapman, 72, buried in Letart [Falls] Cemetery today.
[Jividen house, Apple Grove, Ohio] May 1: Light frost last night, burned tomatoes that were set out some. Ralph worked the tomato ground today. I dug up flower beds, and cleaned some in the strawberries. 2: To cold today to be comfortable, but we worked all day in the strawberries. 3: I think it was just a little warmer today. We worked today in the strawberries. 4: We have had light frosts for the last 4 nights. It cooked [killed, i.e., the plant looked like it had been boiled] a coleus last night that I had sitting outside and curled up the leaves of some I had sitting on the window [sill]. We worked in the strawberries today. Fred Sayre’s house at the Yellowbush [Creek] bridge burned Sunday. It was not quite finished. An announcement in the [Athens] Messenger tonight of the marriage of Edna Whetstone [Ruth’s first-grade teacher] to Gayle Price, March 4. I mowed the yard tonight, and Ralph went to Letart. 5: Quite warm today and this evening. I cleaned strawberries today. Ralph went to Pomeroy and had a tooth treated. I planted zinnias today. Ralph and I went fishing in the creek tonight. 6: It was hot today. We went out home this morning in Dan’s truck, stayed for dinner. Went to the Letart [Falls] Cemetery and to the Gilmore Cemetery.50 Saw Bill Wilson’s barn burning when we went down the road. We came home down Kerr’s Run and stopped at Shumway’s greenhouse and got 4 petunias and a lantana. This evening Ralph disced up the garden with the tractor, and we planted as long as we could see. 7: Sunday. We left the children with Miss [Cora] Parr today and went on Russell’s [Wickline’s] bus to Ash Cave, Old Man’s Cave, and Rock House. Got back at 9:30 tonight. The trilliums were blooming today in the parks. We had a wonderful time. 25 went on the trip. Stewarts moved to Canton from Wagner’s. 8: It was rather cloudy this morning, so we set 1½ rows of tomatoes. The sun came out hot and burned them up. We hoed 5 rows of cabbage. Came home and planted more garden. Set tomatoes this evening till a shower drove us in. 9: Cloudy all day, a hard wind blowing. Hard showers went all around us. Ralph went to Middleport with Dan this morning. We set tomatoes till 7:30 this evening. 10: Today was hot and very windy. Ralph hoed up the tomatoes this morning. I mowed the yard, and this afternoon we worked in the strawberries. Dad is 69 today. 11: Cool and cloudy most of the day. We went to Athens today in Russell’s car and bought a truck.51 Set tomatoes this evening. The big frost was a year ago tonight. It is quite cool tonight. 12: I did a big washing today, and we set tomatoes this evening. Ralph had Clifford Hill take him to Athens today, and [he] drove the truck home. 13: Ralph hoed up the tomatoes this morning, and this afternoon we set quite a lot. So cold that I put my heavies back on. Cloudy and light sprinkles all morning. The sun came out this afternoon. Walter Sayre buried in Letart [Falls] Cemetery. 14: Sunday. Very dry and very cool. Nothing that is planted comes up on account of drought, and it threatens frost every night. Ralph went over his truck today, tightening it up and greasing [it]. Eleanor and I went down to the creek and “hunted rocks.” 15: Ralph went to Pomeroy this morning to register the truck. I worked in the strawberries this morning. This afternoon we set tomatoes. I took off52 14 petunia slips this morning. 16: Ralph plowed tomatoes and started to plow the cabbage. Went to Pomeroy for license this afternoon. I worked in the strawberries. We had a light sprinkle this morning. 17: Hot and dry. This morning Ralph scattered [tomato] stakes, and this afternoon put away [hothouse] sash, and cleaned up around the hothouse. This evening we went fishing in the river53 straight down from the house. Ralph had all the luck: he caught a fish about this long: [ ].54 The children and I brought up sand from the creek for a sandbox. Mrs. Maud Cobb buried in Letart Cemetery. 18: Ralph scattered stakes55 in the morning. Went fishing with Doug Sales until midnight. To hot and dry to do much. Most all truckers56 have stopped work and are fishing “till it rains.” 19: Ralph scattered stakes this morning, fixed up a new trotline57 this afternoon, and put it in the river tonight. 20: Ralph fished this morning. We got the truck license in the mail, so we went out home. Took Dad 2 fish and a box of strawberries, candy, and milk. Had a fine little shower this afternoon while we were away. Wet the ground down about an inch. Ralph went to Racine tonight to line up some pickers. We went to the cemetery on the way home today. 21: Sunday. Cloudy and wet till about 9 o’clock this morning [when] it cleared off. We picked the first berries today: 16-2/3 crates. I picked Dan’s [Hartinger’s] berries with the children’s help. 22: We had a nice little shower in the night. Every little bit helps when it is so dry. We got up early and drove over to Athens. Sold the berries for $3.85. Got home about noon. We went to the greenhouse in Athens and got some new flowers. Eleanor bought a giant single petunia, and Ruth bought a viola58 with their own money. I fixed up the porch boxes, and Ralph and I set out flowers this evening. Then he went fishing. 23: Very hot today. Bill Holman and I picked Dan’s berries. Ralph had a crew to pick the others: 27 crates. Ralph went to Athens this evening. 200 crates were unloaded in the yard,59 and the children and I had them to put away. Bill Holman says whenever there is a fog in the summer we have a hot spell. A very heavy fog last night and this morning, and very hot today. 24: Hotter today than it was yesterday. Ralph got back about 3 o’clock this afternoon. We went to the [Letart] cemetery this evening and put out some flowers [on Audrey’s grave, as Decoration Day is less than a week away]. 25: Hotter ’n drier. Bill Holman and I picked the berries at Dan’s. Killed a copperhead60 snake in the first row we picked this morning. Paid Ruth 30¢ to carry in the berries61 today, and Eleanor 6¢ to sit in the shade. Ralph and crew picked the other berries. Got $1.75-$2.00 for berries today. 26: Hotter than yesterday. The strawberry vines [are] wilted and laid flat on the ground. We picked 22 crates altogether. Donovan and I picked 6 crates at Dan’s. We had kind of a fuss with some Jews today. Sold berries at $1.85 to $2.40. Ralph fishing tonight. 27: We took 5 crates of berries over to Athens to Bethel’s this morning. Ruth bought a sand toy,62 and Eleanor a bucket and spade. I got 3 [gold]fish for Mom, and we took them out on our way home. We made ice cream in the evening. 28: Sunday. We got about half done picking the patches up here, and had a fine little shower about noon. Went down to the Chapman farm and picked 9 crates: 16½ crates altogether. Ralph left for Athens tonight with part of the berries. Florence Hill’s father was drownded yesterday at New Haven when a towboat ran over him in a small motor boat. 29: We picked 27 crates in the Chapman patch, and did not get them sold. Ralph got back from Athens about 9:30. Sold most of yesterday’s berries at $1.75. I walked over to the cemetery. I worked in the garden in the evening, and Ralph went to Kerr’s Run to look up pickers for tomorrow. 30: Decoration Day.63 Ralph brought pickers from Kerr’s Run this morning, and we run 2 crews. We picked 34 crates today. I crated at the [Clark] Jividen farm. Very few buyers in today. Ralph started to Detroit, Mich., this evening with Will Barnitz’ boys. We went to the cemetery64 at noon and took a basket of pansies, a bunch of sweet williams, and a bunch of ragged robins, and coreopsis.65 Flowers scarce because of the drought. 31: Picked 26 crates in Dan’s patch today. Had a light shower about 4 in the afternoon. Ralph got back from Detroit about 9 o’clock tonight.
[Jividen house, Apple Grove, Ohio] June 1: Ralph peddled strawberries all over Athens and back to Middleport. Sold at $1.25. I did part of my washing. We had a fine little shower this morning. We went to Racine tonight. 2: We have had more rain today than we have had for a long time. Ralph cut cabbage, and started out thru the Valley about 3 o’clock. I finished the washing today. Jim Hunt and Roy Buck had a wreck in front of the house tonight. Had the sheriff up. Mary Frederick and Sam Long were burned to death at Bashan yesterday. Gasoline they were using to spray bedbugs with exploded. 3: Ralph came back with about half of the cabbage about 3 o’clock. I ironed, and in the evening we went to Racine. Bought the children white shoes at Cross’s store66 at $1.69.
Ellie and Ruth Wickline, studio portrait: Racine, Ohio, 1939.
Mary Frederick buried at Sutton [Cemetery] this afternoon. 4: Sunday. We cut 146 bags of cabbage today, with 2 Teaford boys and 2 Holmans helping. Had trouble with Dan.67 He would not allow us to move our half [as sharecroppers]. We could not get either the constable or sheriff to come up, so left the cabbage there all night. In the morning Albert Russell, Clark Jividen, and Dan were here. Ralph gave Clark $25.00 of the strawberry money due them for plants, labor, and berries. We had agreed with Will Barnitz to take the cabbage to Detroit, but Dan went down and told him to stay away. Wilbur Lee was buried this afternoon at Sutton. It was a beautiful day for the funeral. 5: Ralph brought up several pickers from Minersville, and we started to pick the Jividen berries. but found they were to ripe and no price, so quit. In the afternoon Carl and Lila Easterday were here, and in the evening Velma Woods and Lorene [Wickline] Dailey [Dad’s sister]. Ralph went to Huntington [WV] in the afternoon on the Barnitz truck. Had the first peas for dinner today. 6: I made strawberry jelly today. Ralph has not come back from Huntington yet at bedtime. 7: Ralph came back during the night, and left again this morning about 7 to go out thru the Valley on the Barnitz truck to peddle produce and old potatoes.68 He said that Barnitz’s strawberries closed out at 50¢ per crate last night in Huntington [WV]. Ruth and I had quite a snake scare today. She was in the [bank] cellar69 churning,70 and when I went down to take a crock of milk, I found a big blacksnake71 and a copperhead right in front of the cellar door, having what seemed to be a fight to the death. I called to Ruth, and when she looked out and saw them thrashing around she nearly had fits till I got a hoe and killed them.72 8: Ralph got back from his peddling trip around five this afternoon. I scrubbed and cleaned up the house a little. 9: We went to Parkersburg [WV] today and went to the circus—the first one we had been to since being married. We went up the river road to Reedsville [above Long Bottom]. We had never been over part of the road. Ralph bought a new pair of dress shoes for $2.99. We left the truck in Belpre and walked across the bridge. One of the best circuses I ever saw. 10: Ralph worked down at Barnitz’s all day, hoeing strawberries. Came home for dinner and supper and went back in the evening to help pull tomato plants. 11: Sunday. We went to Athens this morning. Came home around by Dad’s and stayed till evening. Mary [Mom’s youngest sister] was home for her vacation. They had a terrible storm out there Friday afternoon. Mom said the creek had never been so high in the 41 years they had owned the place. We went to the [Gilmore] cemetery this morning. 12: Ralph hoed strawberries all day at Barnitz’s. I washed today. 13: Ralph plowed tomatoes today at Barnitz’s. Brought home a sack of old potatoes: 100 lbs. at $1.25. I ironed and mended. It has been real cool all day. 14: Ralph went on a peddling trip for Barnitz, I presume, as he did not come home for dinner [noon meal], nor tonight. I washed quilts today. 15: Ralph came home around 6 this evening: peddled from Lancaster in73 today. I washed more quilts. 16: It has been very hot today. Ralph was away on a peddling trip for Barnitz and has not come home tonight. 17: Ralph came home from peddling around 3 o’clock. I scrubbed and cleaned the house. In the evening we went to the cemetery and to Racine and Pomeroy. Ralph got a shirt and pants, and I bought Ruth and Eleanor a dress each. A light rain falling when we came home. 18: [Sunday.] We had to go to Middleport to get ice [to make ice cream] this morning. We went out home with the intention bringing them over for the day, but Dad was in such a bad shape that we gave it up, made ice cream out there, and had an angel cake.74 We had several showers. 19: Ralph went to Barnitz’s this morning, and has not come home tonight. I mowed the yard today. It has been rather cool, and we have had several showers today. 20: I washed today. Ralph has not been home. 21: Showers today. I did the ironing. Ralph did not come home. 22: I shortened my blue dress today, mended some, and made some new dishtowels75 and did other things. Ralph has not come home. This evening Ruth, Eleanor, and I walked up to the store at Apple Grove. It seems very stormy tonight; it is lightning-ing and wind blowing. 23: Ralph came home in the night and left again early this morning. I washed his clothes and a few other things today, and Mary Green and baby were here this afternoon. 24: Ralph came home during the night and left early this morning. Richard Roush’s barn burned last night. I mowed the yard today, and made a cake, and did lots of odd jobs. 25: Sunday. Ralph came home about 11 o’clock last night and left this morning about 9. It has been a very nice day, rather cool. 26: I washed today. Ralph still absent. 27: I ironed this morning, and went to look for [wild] raspberries this evening, found about a pint, which we ate with milk and sugar. Mr. Southall was here today. Had a light shower this evening. Ralph came home about 10 tonight. 28: We had quite a hard storm today: wind, lightning, and some hail. Ralph left early this morning and has not come home. 29: Cloudy most all day, several showers. I cleaned the upstairs today. Ralph came in for a few minutes this evening and left again. 30: Had a light shower this morning, but it seems to have cleared up this afternoon. We have had quite a lot of rain in the last several days. I washed and ironed Ralph’s clothes this morning, and this afternoon went down to the creek with Ruth and Eleanor to “hunt rocks.” Mowed the yard this evening.
[Jividen house, Apple Grove, Ohio] July 1: I cleaned up the house today. Sowed my sweet william seed today. 2: Sunday. Ralph came home in the night, and we got up early and he took us out to Dad’s.76 He went to Huntington [WV], and Hayman Barnitz brought us home about midnight. Earl [Morris, Mom’s nephew] was down home, and we all took a walk up to the [Gilmore] cemetery. I never saw anything like the way Dad has failed physically in the last 2 weeks since I saw him. Nothing but a walking skeleton, with almost no mind. He did know me, tho, has never failed to know me, yet he doesn’t know Mom.77 Mary Ritchey78 died June 10 at Claremont, Illinois.
Mary Ritchey, daughter of Hugh Davis and Cyrene A. Ritchey, née Nease: Claremont, Ill., 1928.
3: I did the washing today, and dug the onions. Ralph left early this morning. 4: Rather cloudy and threatening and a little cool. Ralph came home in the night and went to Huntington today, got back around 8 o’clock. 5: I washed today. Ralph left early this morning. 6: Ralph plowed tomatoes today for Barnitz. Brought us some coal in the evening. Had a good shower about 4 o’clock. Mattie Wolfe came in for a little while in the afternoon. I mowed the yard and made apple pies, and Ralph sent up some ice [from Barnitz’s market], so we had ice cream in the evening. 7: It has been quite hot today. I did the ironing and not much else. Ralph went down to Barnitz’s last night about 8 o’clock and has not come home yet. 8: A very hot day, a little shower in the afternoon. Ralph came home during the night and left early this morning. 9: Sunday. Ralph left early this morning. The children and I were home all day. 10: I saw something today that I never heard of before. The cat79 came in dragging a copperhead snake 18 inches long. He has cleaned out all the rats, mice, and moles, brings in chipmunks, field mice, and rabbits, but I never heard of a cat catching a snake. It was not dead, so I finished it with a hoe. Ralph has not been home today. 11: A cool day, the sun very bright. It seemed so much like a fall day. Ralph came home in the night and left early this morning. I sewed today. Ralph brought me a dress from Columbus for my birthday [07/14], and I shortened it, and went over it, then started making over a dress for Ruth that Mom had given her. 12: Another fall-like day. Ralph did not come home last night. I sewed a little today, cut weeds, and did odd jobs. 13: Brisk winds all day, hot, and threatening. Ralph came home around 5 this afternoon, shaved, and cleaned up, and left again. The girls and I went down to the creek this afternoon. 14: I did a big washing today, mowed the yard this evening. Mattie Wolfe came this afternoon and brought me a splendid bunch of flower slips. Two of the Heavenly Blue morning glories80 were out this morning, the first ones. Ralph has not been home. I am 31 today. 15: Ralph worked in the tomatoes at Barnitz’s today. Came home about 7 o’clock. We went to the cemetery, to Racine, and on out to Dad’s about 9 o’clock. Stayed a couple of hours. Dad seemed more like himself than I have seen him for sometime.
Grandpa Emmett Jewett’s last photograph: old home place, near Bashan, Ohio, before 18 Apr l940.
16: Sunday. Ralph left early this morning. The girls and I stayed home all day. Rather cool today, and pleasant. 17: Cool, pleasant day. Getting pretty dry. Ralph hasn’t been home. A year today since little Audrey went away. 18: We had a wonderful rain last night and this morning, slow and easy and no wind. Haven’t seen anything of Ralph today. The hog has been out today [escaped from his sty], and we have had an awful time watching [keeping] him out of the flowers, and trying to cobble up the old rotten pen. Mrs. White was here this afternoon, and Mrs. Hartinger, and Mr. and Mrs. Williams this evening. 19: More rain today, soft and slow. Ralph came in during the night and went again this morning. I washed today and hung the clothes upstairs. The children found a tree toad81 today, the first one I had ever seen. 20: Ralph came in a few minutes about 10 o’clock this morning, shaved, and left again. We had soft easy showers several times today. I did the ironing. 21: It was raining softly this morning when I got up. It has been cloudy and cool all day. Dolores Wolfe was here to spend the afternoon. Ralph came in tonight a little before bedtime. 22: Ralph left early this morning. I washed his clothes today, and cleaned up the house. 23: Sunday. We stayed at home all day. Sat out in the swing and watched folks go by. We made and ate a gallon of ice cream [just the three of us]. Ralph has not been home. 24: It has been cloudy all day, a few light sprinkles. Thunder keeps growling all around. Ralph was home this evening long enough to shave and change clothes. Tommy Cat is afraid of thunder, and I have to let him sleep in the house when it thunders, then have to get up at 4 to let him out to go a-hunting. 25: We walked up to the store this morning for groceries. I washed after we got back. Very heavy fog this morning and last night, and it was pretty hot today. I have been noticing, since Bill Holman told [me] in strawberry time that the weather would turn hot after a heavy fog, that it usually holds true. Haven’t seen anything of Ralph today. 26: I ironed this morning, and this afternoon we went down to Mary Green’s, but she wasn’t home. I mowed the yard this evening. It has been hot today, and is kind of stormy this evening. Ralph has not been home today. 27: Lots of thunder last night and all day today. Several light showers. Ralph has not been home. Evelyn Wolfe (Ev) died yesterday at Racine. 28: We went up to the store this morning for supplies. Real hot today, cloudy all afternoon. Ralph has not been home. Carghill came for the truck82 today. Eleanor pulled her first tooth. 29:83 Several light, easy showers today. The grass has grown so fast since we are having so much rain that I had to mow the yard again this evening. Cleaned up the house today. Ralph has not been home. 30: [Sunday.] Ralph came home about 5 o’clock this morning. Made 2 trips to Michigan since he had been home. We went to the cemetery and down as far as Plants.84 Then Billy Fox and Hazel Shane took us out to Dad’s. They came for us around 6 o’clock in the evening. Ralph went back to Michigan about 10:30. We had a couple of good showers. 31: Ralph came home around 5 o’clock, and we went up to the store for groceries before he left again. Kitty [our cat of many names] caught another copperhead.
Eleanor and Ruth Wickline, practicing to be acrobats: Jividen farmhouse, Apple Grove, Ohio, 1939.
[Jividen house, Apple Grove, Ohio] Aug. 1: I washed today. Ralph has not been home. 2: I did the ironing and some mending. Ralph hasn’t been home. 3: A very heavy bank of clouds in the west when I got up. Began raining about 8 o’clock and rained most all day. Some pretty hard showers. Ralph came home after dark, and we hired Harriet McClintock to look after the children, and I went with him to Columbus.85 Got there about 2 o’clock in the morning. Very foggy driving, part of the way. 4: I went over into the city, while Ralph stayed on the market. Bought Ruth and Eleanor each a dress, 3 pairs of sox, and 1 pair of silk86 panties. Bought myself a paint brush and a little snake plant.87 Stores did not open till 9:30, and I was half an hour late getting back to the truck, and Ralph thot yeggs had got me. We left Columbus at 11:30. 5: I mowed the yard. Ralph came home when we were eating supper. 6: Sunday. Ralph brought a big watermelon last night, and I had got ice for ice cream, and about all we did today was eat watermelon and ice cream. This evening we went down to Racine. Some folks [came to the house] from Ravenswood [WV] this morning. 7: Ralph got Billy Fox’s car, and we went to Pomeroy to get some medicine for Eleanor. I got each a dress for school.88 We looked in Racine for a place to rent but couldn’t find anything. Came home and tended to the cow and hog and went to Huntington [WV]. Got there after dark, went over on the market awhile. Slept in the car. 8: We walked over town some, then went up on Washington St. in the car, and had all kinds of trouble with it for a couple of hours. Got it fixed up finally. Started home around 3 o’clock; got here about 6. Poor Mister Cat had got the end of his tail clipped off, in the mowing machine maybe, as the hay across the road from the house had been cut. Eleanor and Ruth weighed in the same notch89 today: 40 lbs.
Eleanor (6 years, 10 months), left, and Ruth Wickline (7 years, 5 months), right: Jividen farmhouse, Apple Grove, Ohio, Aug 1939.
9: Neither of us did much of anything today. Ralph went to Apple Grove this morning. Had rain about 10 o’clock, and again this afternoon. 10: Ralph worked in the strawberries at Barnitz’s this morning, picked tomatoes this afternoon, left for Columbus with the tomatoes about 8 this evening. I did a big washing today, ironed some this evening. Had several callers today: Mrs. Roush, the “antique” woman [looking for antiques], Rev. Thayer, who wanted my cat and dog pattern, an extract woman,90 and Waid Bibbee. 11: I finished ironing today, and varnished a chair. It has been rather warm today. Ralph has not been home. 12: I mowed the yard today, cleaned up the house, and did a little painting. We had a nice shower this afternoon around 4. Mary Allen came up this afternoon to play with the kids. Ralph has not been home. 13: Sunday. Ralph came home in the night, and left about 7:30 this morning. It has been very hot and sultry today. Had a thunderstorm this evening, and thunder is still grumbling around now at bedtime. 14: Ralph came in about 10 last night and left this morning at six. I washed today. It has been hot and very cloudy all day, with a light sprinkle or two. 15: I ironed today, and scraped some varnish off the chairs, getting them ready to refinish. Ralph left about 6, spent the day at Midway Market and got home around 11. 16: Hot today. We rode up to the store this morning with Roy and Eileen Buck, and stopped at Mattie Wolfe’s on the way back to see her flowers. She gave us the most gorgeous bunch of dahlias and some slips of other flowers. 17: Just about the same old story today: Ralph left early and we were home all day. The kids cut paper all over the place,91 and I did some varnishing. Very stormy-looking this afternoon. We had just a light sprinkle, but some heavy rains went around. 18: Ralph did not come home last night. Charlie Miller was here a little while today, and Earl Foit for the insurance money. It was hot and stormy, had a very light sprinkle about 5. 19: I painted some and cleaned up the house, did odd jobs. Ralph has not been home. 20: [Sunday.] Ralph came home in the night. He had made a trip to Michigan. He took us out home early this morning, and came for us around 4 o’clock. We went from home down to Monday’s, looking for some lumber, then to Bryan Parr’s for a load of cantaloupes [to peddle]. Dad knew me, but doesn’t know many folks. Did not know Ralph this time. We went to the Letart Cemetery this morning. 21: We had a very high wind all day. It rattled the roof like winter, and was hard on the flowers. I mowed the yard, washed and ironed Ralph’s clothes. He has not been home today. This is his 34th birthday. 22: I washed my blue blanket today. Ralph came home around 5, and we went with him up to Bryan Parr’s for cantaloupes. 23: I washed today. Ralph left early this morning and has not come home tonight. 24: I did the ironing today. Finished a dress for Ruth and cut out one for myself. Jim Stobart, 60, died Monday and was buried Wed. in Greenwood Cemetery. He always had such a big chew of tobacco stuck just so in his cheek till some folks wondered if it was a growth on his jaw. 25: Ralph has not been home. I finished varnishing the chairs today. It has been hot. Mrs. Ella Norris was here today, taking orders for dresses. 26: In the morning we walked up to the store, and in the afternoon we went down to Mary Green’s a couple of hours. I sewed on my dress the rest of the time. Ralph came home about 9 o’clock, had made a trip to Detroit [MI]. Ida Roush,92 Mom’s aunt, died today at Bashan. 27: Sunday. Ralph stayed home last night, went to Parr’s for cantaloupes, and to Middleport about 11. We stayed home all day. The girls played up on the porch roof,93 and Ruth wanted to go up on the house roof to sit on the chimney, but I would not allow that. 28: I washed a quilt today. It is a hard old job to wash a dirty quilt by hand, and, when you finally get it on the line, you don’t feel like starting much else. Ralph came home around 5, and we went with him to Parr’s for cantaloupes. He went back to Middleport tonight. 29: I washed most all day. Ralph came home for a few minutes about 5 o’clock. The Meigs Co. Fair [at Rock Springs] opens today, and he was going to the fairgrounds with a load of melons. 30: I ironed this morning, and made a dress for Eleanor this afternoon. Ralph hasn’t been home. 31: Howard Roush took us to the fair about noon, and Bill Wilson brought us home about midnight. Ralph was at the fair with melons, but took them in, and left for Detroit about 4 o’clock.
[Jividen house, Apple Grove, Ohio] Sept. 1: I sewed today. The Tribune94 states that Milton Wolfe died Aug. 24. He had not been able to speak since a stroke 3 years ago paralyzed his vocal chords. He died alone in the barn, pitching hay. 2: Ralph got back from Detroit this morning, came up after us, and we went to Athens and Nelsonville peddling with him. Got home about 11 o’clock at night. I got some school supplies for the girls, and Eleanor picked out a pink dinner box95 in Nelsonville. 3: Sunday. Ralph went on the hunt for watermelons today, and we stayed home all day. 4: [Labor Day] I washed in the morning, and in the afternoon Ralph came home, and we went out to Dad’s a couple of hours, then over to Wickline’s, and home about dark.
Pearl and Bertha Wickline, née Yost, our paternal grandparents: their farm near Plants, Ohio, 1939.
It stormed while we were eating supper at Wickline’s, of course, and broke the drought. Ralph’s Dad was born Dec. 29, 1882. 5: The girls went to school today until noon. Eleanor’s first day as a scholar.96 The house seemed quiet as a grave. After the bus left Tommy Kat stalked around over the yard and squalled as loud as he could. In the afternoon we went up to the store. I made grape jelly, and Ralph peddled in Athens and Nelsonville. 6: Ralph came home in the night. It was real cold last night and this morning—almost frost. Ralph left early to peddle toward Columbus. The girls went to school, and this afternoon I walked down to the cemetery. Took down some oriental poppies, tho I don’t expect they will live, as it is so dry. 7: The paper says that this was the hottest day of the summer. It came unexpected, for it has been so cool that Ralph took a sweater, suede jacket, overcoat, and comfort with him when he left yesterday morning, and thot he might run into a blizzard up north. The girls went to school, and I washed curtains and slipcovers in the morning. In the afternoon walked up to the store, stopped at Muriel Bell’s a couple of hours, and talked to Dolly Wolfe a good while. Just got home a few minutes before the bus came. 8: It has been so very hot today, a hard wind blowing all day. The girls went to school. I washed and ironed. Ralph has not appeared on the scene at bedtime. 9: Ralph came home in the night, had been to Benton Harbor [MI]. I washed what clothes were dirty, washed the girls’ hair, finished my dress. Very hot today. Ralph peddled in the Valley, and came home around 2 in the morning.
Dad (Ralph) and Pearl Wickline, his father, and Herb Dailey, his brother-in-law: Plants, Ohio, 1939.
10: Sunday. Ralph said he would see about moving today, and I worked all day cleaning and packing, but he has not come back. Mary Allen was here today, and Harriet [Allen] stopped awhile tonight. 11: A very pleasant fall day, sunny but rather cool. The girls went to school. Ralph hasn’t been home, and I didn’t do much of anything except went up to the store. 12: Very hot and dry. The girls went to school. Ralph hasn’t been home. I refinished one of the high chairs today. 13: What I wrote for yesterday would do just as well for today. I did over the other high chair. The cow was gone this morning, had broken her rope. The Roush boy brought her home. 14: Ralph came home during the night, and this morning I went with him to Monkey Run,97 and rented and scrubbed up some rooms. This afternoon I went with Ralph and Bill Wilson, peddling out thru Harrisonville. The girls stayed at McClintock’s after school until Hayman [Barnitz] brought me home, about 8:30. Ralph was to go north tonight. It has been very hot and is lightning-ing tonight. 15: I washed this morning, went up to the store this afternoon. The girls went to school. Ralph hasn’t been home. Mary Allen came to stay all night. Harriet Allen and Mattie and Althea Hayman were here a little while. 16: I ironed and scrubbed this morning, sewed this afternoon. Mary Allen stayed all day with the girls. Ralph hasn’t been home. I sold George Hayman the hog for $8.00. Ralph never would castrate it; it weighed about 200 lbs. 17: Sunday. The girls and I sat out in the porch swing, and I read to them this afternoon. I read [from Allingham’s “Robin Redbreast”], “Goodbye, goodbye to summer, For summer’s nearly done, the garden smiling faintly, cool breezes in the sun.”98 That verse described this day perfectly: cool breezes in the sun. Four young people were drownded at the Apple Grove dam about 9 o’clock tonight. Their skiff99 went thru the bear trap.100 Hundreds of cars went up the road as soon as the news got out. Two boys and two girls: I have not learned their names. Ralph came home about 11 tonight with just the chassis101 of Hayman’s [Barnitz’s] truck. 18: Ralph left this morning around 6 o’clock. The girls went to school. I went up to the store this afternoon. Many people were at Apple Grove, watching the men drag the river. They found one boy about 3 this p.m. and another about 5. 19: It has rained lightly all day. Ralph hasn’t been home. The girls went to school. 20: Rainy until noon, then the sun came out. Held the Donahue boy’s funeral this afternoon: burial at Letart. They found the girls’ bodies this afternoon. Ralph hasn’t been home. 21:($231) I got up early and went up to the dam to call102 the [Midway] Market, but Ralph was not back from Michigan yet. They held a double funeral for the girls this morning; burial at Letart. June Ferra, Dorothy Knighting, and Ralph Donahue of Apple Grove; Robert Friend of Millwood, W. Va. 22: A typical fall day: sunny, hazy, and cool. Ralph got home about 9 o’clock this evening from Deerfield [MI, near Saline] with tomatoes. Drove Wilson’s car up from the market, and we got baskets, and went back to Midway [Barnitz’s market] and packed tomatoes till around 1 o’clock. 23: Ralph peddled today and went to Huntington [WV]. I took down stovepipes [from the kitchen stove and the heater] and packed up. [Monkey Run, Pomeroy, Ohio] 24: Sunday. We moved today to Monkey Run.103 Had dinner at a restaurant, as we were nearly starved for ’taters. I had taken down stovepipes expecting to move yesterday. We had 2 loads. Bill Wilson helped us load the second load. Bud Wilson led our cow down to their place. Mister Cat run away when he saw Bill and his boys there, and we had to come away without him. Hayman Barnitz was arrested today for his accident. I have lived in Letart Township 9 years last August the 4th. 25: Ralph peddled, and got the truck worked on. We fixed up what we could, and went up town about 3 o’clock for a few things. Ralph left about 6 o’clock for Deerfield, Mich. 26: I walked up to Central School104 this morning with the girls. Mowed a road [path] to the toilet and scrubbed it out, mended the clothes I will wash tomorrow. Eleanor looked like she had been thru the war when she came from school tonight. She had been hit with a swing and cut on the eyelid and below, and her eye was black. 27: I washed the clothes thru the first water105 today, and stayed down at the market this afternoon. Frank Roush106 died yesterday. 28: Ralph came home from Deerfield about 5 this morning. I finished my washing today, and we went to the market and packed tomatoes till 2 a.m.—about 5 hours. 29: Ralph and I went to Huntington about 11. Got back about 6. We took tomatoes down. Coming home we got in the most terrible dust storm where they were doing road work. A few minutes later a wind and rainstorm broke. A big tree fell across the road. We hired “Sis” to stay with the kids, and left about 9 o’clock for Deerfield, Mich. Went to Thomas Fork for coal, hit the state road at Rock Springs,107 were eating supper at the College Inn [Athens] at midnight. 30: We drove in the rain to Marysville [northwest of Columbus] and slept till morning. Turned much cooler. We drove to Darst Hoffman’s for tomatoes. Got there [Deerfield MI] before noon. We went into Deerfield for dinner, then slept in the truck while a crew picked the tomatoes. While we were asleep Bill and Milford drove in with their truck bed wrecked. We loaded and left Hoffman’s before sundown. Stopped in Bowling Green to shop a little. Slept here and there along the road. Ralph had to buy a suede jacket.
[Monkey Run, Pomeroy, Ohio] Oct. 1: Sunday. The truck quit in Logan this morning. We had $3.17 repair done on it and were very glad of it, for the mechanic discovered as we were ready to drive away that the back wheel was ready to drop off. We got home about the middle of the afternoon. We brought Ruth and Eleanor Snow White dolls. 2: I shortened my coat today. I paid the first rent that we have paid since we were married: $5.00 this morning. Ralph peddled this morning, left for the north this evening. Ruth got her head hurt on the teeter-totter108 at school today. 3: I worked up a bushel of crab apples today into juice and started making the jelly this evening. 4: Ralph got home this morning from Deerfield [MI] and worked unloading and sorting. He took a bum with him to Deerfield this trip. We got a load of coal this afternoon. 5: It took Ralph until 3 o’clock to get coal to start back to Deerfield. 6: The girls missed the bus this morning, and I walked up to school with them. I sewed this afternoon. 7: Ralph came home this morning. He brought us a chicken, and Bill Wilson came up to supper. We went to Letart to store a load of tomatoes at Barnitz’s little house. The girls and I stayed at Wilson’s while Bill and Ralph unloaded. Then we went out to Dad’s and spent the night.109 8: Sunday. We came home from Dad’s about 9 in the morning, went up to Antik [Antiquity] and loaded baskets, and unloaded them again. Came down, and Ralph packed tomatoes most of the day. Rose Yost’s110 granddaughter was killed on a bicycle, and they sent us quite a lot of her clothes. Sadie Wolfe’s daughter told us last night that Irene Wickline [Dad’s sister] had been married111 some time ago, which was news to us. 9: Ralph peddled Middleport in the morning, and I went with him to Athens in the afternoon. One of the nicest rides I have had in a long time. It was a perfect October day. The leaves are turning. Milford Whatsisname left today. 10: I did a big washing today. In the late afternoon Ralph went out back of Hobson [south of Middleport] to see about coal, and I went along. We got the electric turned on today.112 11: I ironed today, and in the afternoon I went up town and bought window shades: 29¢. Ralph left early for Athens to peddle. 12: Ralph didn’t go to work till about 11. He did a number of odd jobs in the morning. Nora Weaver died yesterday at 56. Ralph peddled in Middleport in the p.m. 13: Friday the 13th. Ralph peddled Athens today. School was out early, and the girls and Milly and I went up town for a birthday cake. Six candles this time. Eleanor was born on Friday the 13th about 5 o’clock in the morning. 14: Ralph plowed out potatoes up at Barnitz’s today. I cleaned some in the yard in the morning. In the afternoon we went to the dentist to have one of Eleanor’s teeth pulled. 15: Sunday. A killing frost last night. Ralph went to Carpenter’s and picked up dropped apples today. 16: Ralph peddled today in Parkersburg [WV] and Marietta. I sewed today. Ralph left about 9 o’clock with a load of coal for Deerfield, Mich.113 17: I didn’t do much today. Ralph hasn’t come back. 18: Ralph got back from Deerfield with tomatoes about noon. Darst and Erbin [sic] Hoffman raised the tomatoes. I walked uptown in the afternoon. Ralph went to the cider mill in the evening. 19: Charlie’s truck was parked in front of Kroger this morning, but no Charlie [Miller]. Ralph and I worked today and until 10 tonight, sorting tomatoes and weighing out cabbage. 20: Ralph got up at 2 this morning and started to Huntington [WV], to be there when the market opened at 5. I went uptown this morning, and worked at the market this afternoon. Billy Fox and Hazel Shane’s marriage license in the paper tonight. 21: Ralph came home from Huntington this morning. Peddled in Middleport this afternoon. I washed today. Ralph and I walked up to Pomeroy late in the evening for Churngold114 and other small things. Brought home a pint of lemon ice cream. Tommy115 had to have his share. He likes slaw, sauerkraut, ice cream. 22: Sunday. Ralph was home all day. We walked to Middleport in the late afternoon and up to Pomeroy to the show in the evening. It was a beautiful autumn day. 23: Ralph went to Letart, and plowed out potatoes. Zane Grey, the novelist, died today, aged 64, in Calif. One of my favorite present-day authors. 24: I went to Middleport with Ralph this morning and to Rutland,116 and this afternoon I went with him after a load of coal. He left around 4 o’clock for Fremont, Ohio. We had dinner today in Carson’s restaurant in Middleport. Ralph got me an electric “poodle” lamp. 25: I cleaned up the house and baked gingerbread and didn’t seem to get much of anything done. We had a light rain this evening. Ralph is away. 26: Ralph came in as I was building the kitchen fire this morning. We had rain last night and a hard electrical storm. We sold Pet, the cow, [left at Bud Wilson’s when we moved] to Ralph Gilmore for $33.50. Ralph had the toothache. We went to the dentist in the afternoon; took our radio and got it fixed. I got 2 small rugs for the kitchen, and got [Halloween] masks for the children. We went to a Halloween party at the [Central] school. Eleanor won a pair of suspenders for her little old nigger-man outfit. Ralph went to the show at the Meigs [Theater] while we were at the party. The sun was about as hot as in July today. It burned our backs thru our clothes when we were walking uptown. 27: No school today, as there was a teachers’ meeting in Athens. Ralph and I went uptown and got him a pair of workpants and me some hose. It started to rain about 4 o’clock. The girls went up home with Wilsons,117 and I went with Ralph north. We left home in a very heavy rain, went to the Thomas Fork coal mine and put on [loaded] 6 ton [coal]. Went thru Athens at 9 o’clock. 28: Got into Green Springs, Ohio [hamlet southeast of Toledo], around 8 o’clock. Snowing and wind blowing. We looked for a place to sell coal and buy cabbage. In the afternoon we went to Clyde, Ohio [larger town nearby], and to Lew Leach’s place of business in an old red-brick schoolhouse. We stayed there till about 5, then drove back to Clyde to weigh coal. We went to a show in Clyde, and got a room for the night at Hattie Chase’s. She put us wise to Lew Leach. 29: Sunday. Cold. We went to Robert Willer’s and unloaded coal and loaded cabbage.118 They cut as long as they could see. Then we finished out the load at John Nantz’s. Were in Busy-Ness at 12 o’clock. Slept awhile in Delaware. 30: Got home around 8 o’clock. Ralph ate breakfast, shaved, and started back to Mt. Pleasant, Mich., for potatoes. 31: Ralph is still away, the girls are [still] up to Wilson’s. I have been alone all day. I made a doll dress and skirt for Ruth. In the evening I walked up to Pomeroy to the Halloween party. It was real cold. I didn’t stay very long.
[Monkey Run, Pomeroy, Ohio] Nov. 1: Kathryn Wilson brought the girls home this morning. This afternoon we went up town and bought shoes119 (with bells on them!), stockings, and sweaters. 2: Ralph got home from Michigan after dark tonight. He brought me a blouse and skirt. Eleanor didn’t go to school today as she has quite a cold. 3: Ralph didn’t have to work today for once. He went to Middleport and got some breeches,120 went to Pomeroy and got his high-top shoes repaired. I washed. 4: We had the first snow here during the night. Very slushy this morning, the ground was most covered with snow. Ralph went to Athens peddling today. I ironed and scrubbed and mended. We had the city water121 turned on this morning. 5: Sunday. Ralph left this morning for Mt. Pleasant, Mich., for potatoes. We were home all day. Didn’t do much but read and listen to the radio. Ruth ran up to the market and got us some popcorn this afternoon. Tommy Kat has learned a new trick: when he wants in he stands up and rattles the doorknob. 6: The girls went to school today, and I did the washing. Ralph hasn’t been home, of course. 7: This has been a cold, ugly day. I scrubbed and cleaned this morning. This afternoon I went uptown, got the girls a new dress each, some outing122 and a few other things: a cookie pan and a paring knife. I guess my old paring knife is really lost at last. I threw it in the garden when I was canning beans in Sept.123 and when the Jan. ’37 flood was over, the knife lay just where I emptied the bean hulls, lay there on the bare ground, “believe it or not.” The next fall I threw it over the hill up at the Jividen place124 when I was making ketchup, and in the spring when I raked and cleaned up outside found the knife. I stayed up to the market this evening from about 3 to 7 o’clock. It is raining tonight, a cold, ugly rain. 8: I stayed at the market all day today. A cold wind blowing all day, didn’t have much to do but keep the fire going. We stayed up there till about 8 o’clock in the evening. One of Ruth’s classmates broke out with chickenpox this morning, so I expect that will be the next thing on the program. 9: I baked cookies this morning, and sewed this afternoon. Ralph got in from Michigan around 5 this afternoon. 10: Ralph didn’t go to work today. We went up to Pomeroy this afternoon and then to Middleport in a taxi. 11: Ralph helped move Barnitz’s125 to Pomeroy today. I baked cookies and cleaned up the house. Ralph and Danny Pooler brought in the heating stove126 this evening. 12: Sunday. We went out to Dad’s in a taxi, over Eagle Ridge. Sylvia and Carroll Pool127 were there, [and] Letha and her family128 for a few minutes. Wallie, Mary, and Clyde Nease, Uncle John [Archer]129 had been there in the morning with his family, Mary [Mom’s youngest sister] and Uncle Glenn [Mom’s uncle] last week. We got there about 11 and came home by [via] Racine at 7 o’clock. I took Dad some cookies, grapes, oranges, and apples. He put a pair of big, new white gloves on his sock feet this morning instead of his shoes and walked around. He had a bad spell Thursday, and for the last 3 days has been so rigid. 13: The 13th was an unlucky day for Mister Thomas Kat,130 as he was run over this morning and killed. I never expect to have another cat so amusing. Ralph ring-packed apples at the market today. I went uptown this afternoon. [Danny] Pooler quit the Barnitz’s today. 14: Ralph worked around the market today, packing apples and doing odd jobs. I sewed some. 15: Ralph and Mr. Barnitz peddled today around Athens. Tonight about 8 o’clock Ralph and Hayman [Barnitz] left for Orlando, Florida. I washed today, and did part of the ironing tonight. 16: Nothing of importance to write tonight. The girls went to school. I ironed, cleaned and scrubbed. Ralph is probably rolling toward Florida. 17: Very warm today. I walked uptown without a coat this afternoon. The girls went to school. 18: We cleaned up the house this morning. This afternoon the girls and I went up to the library and got 3 books: 1000 Poems for Children,131 and By Wagon and Flatboat132 for Ruth, and “Three Little Pigs” for Eleanor. Could hardly get Ruth to bed tonight, as she was so anxious to read.133 We read aloud to each other. 19: Sunday. The girls and I went down to the [school] playground awhile this morning and teeter-tottered and played in the sand box. It was warm and hazy. This afternoon we just read. 20: Today has been very dark and foggy, with drizzling rain most all day. The day seemed very short; it never did really get light. The girls went to school. 21: Ralph got in from Florida around midnight last night. He brought us a big bag of oranges, more oranges than we ever had134 at one time. Today he and Hayman went to Columbus to buy green stuff for Thanksgiving. It has been rainy, fog and mist all day. Never did really get light. I stayed up to the market awhile this morning. 22: Ralph piddled135 this morning around home, and at noon he took a load of coal to Letart. This evening he got coal to take north. Ruth is breaking out with chickenpox this evening. I washed about all day. It is still cold and dark.
Russell Wickline, Dad’s youngest brother: about 1939.
Russell [Dad’s brother] and Pauline [née Manuel] have separated again. 23: Thanksgiving Day. Ralph left about daylight for Mt. Pleasant, Mich., for potatoes, making the trip alone this time. Ruth growled around about the chickenpox. It has been cold and dark; we burned the light most all day. 24: Nothing much to write today. I ironed and worked around, and the girls played. 25: I cleaned up the house a little, and did some mending. 26: Sunday. A cool, sunny day. I went to the market a little while this morning, and walked uptown this afternoon. 27: Eleanor went to school today. Ruth and I were home all day. Our neighbors having a terrible time with the law: 6 of them arrested for drunkenness—some paid their way out, others remain in jail. 28: Eleanor went to school today. Ruth stayed home, and we made a dress for her doll, a red dress with white polka dots. Jessie Roush136 will be buried tomorrow at Sutton. I went up to the market awhile this morning. Bill Wilson was here a few minutes this afternoon. Ralph hasn’t come home yet. 29: Ralph got home from Michigan with potatoes this morning about 4. He delivered today in Athens. 30: Ralph started back to Michigan this morning about 7 o’clock. It was a dark gloomy day. I walked uptown this afternoon.
[Monkey Run, Pomeroy, Ohio] Dec. 1: Today was very dark. I burned the light nearly all day. Light rains today, rather warm. A few minutes of sunshine. I let the hems out of 3 of the girls’ dresses this morning. Took the rent up to Mr. Reuter at noon, and washed this afternoon and evening. 2: It has rained lightly most all day. The sun came out brightly for about half an hour at noon. I went up to the library this afternoon. I brought 2 books for Ruth and Richard Carvel137 for myself. We have read till 11, and it seems to be turning much colder tonight. 3: [Sunday.] The air has been full of snowflakes many times today. This has been the darkest day I have seen for some time. We burned the light nearly all day. We read today and ate soup. 4: It has been cold today, with snow flurries several times. Did not lay on the ground, tho. I ironed in the morning. and went up to the market in the afternoon while Mrs. [Wilma] Barnitz went to have her hair waved. 5: A dark, ugly day. I worked around the house, finished the ironing, mended. The girls went to school. 6: I went up to the market and talked awhile with Mrs. Barnitz this morning. Ralph came in from Michigan about 9 o’clock tonight. 7: Eleanor was broken out with chickenpox this morning. Ralph unloaded and worked around the market in the morning, cleaned up and went to Middleport for groceries, and stayed home the rest of the afternoon. Danny Pooler quit Bill [Barnitz] for the second time this morning. 8: The last 3 days have been bright and sunny, rather cool. Ralph peddled today around Athens. Eleanor is pretty well speckled and can’t eat much for [because of] the chickenpox in her mouth and throat. 9: Ralph peddled to Parkersburg today. I cleaned up the house and did some baking. 10: Sunday. Ralph worked around the market most of the day, and went this afternoon for a load of coal to take north. It has been hot today. We had a light rain this afternoon. A story today I read worth remembering: Two frogs fell into a churn full of cream. One gave a “glug” and sank to the bottom. The other kept paddling, and presently had a pat of butter churned and climbed upon it. Moral: when things look hopeless, keep paddling. 11: Ralph left this morning about 6 o’clock for Burrville [Berville, north of Detroit], Michigan. I washed today. 12: I baked pies and cookies this morning, stayed at the market this afternoon. Eleanor stayed at the house by herself,138 washed the door and woodwork, the washstand, and cleaned out some drawers to “s’prise me.” Ruth went up to Ewings139 for a notebook this evening by herself and went upstairs on the elevator. I did not realize it, but she says that was her first elevator ride. 13: It was raining this morning when we got up. It has been dark all day, with rain and snow. I sewed some today. I traded Mrs. Hendrix140 a quilt top and a sheet for a stand table, and varnished it. 14: I cleaned up the house this morning. Eleanor wanted so badly to go to school that I let her go today. This must have been Bills Day, for both Bill Barnitz and Bill Wilson came. Ralph got home from Michigan about 3 o’clock. 15: Ralph peddled to Logan today, brought home a Christmas tree. I stayed at the market this afternoon. 16: A beautiful, warm, sunny day. Ralph took a load of barrels to Letart to store them, and we all went with him, and went on up to the cemetery [to Audrey’s grave]. After we came back, Ralph and I walked uptown, and he got a piece for the stovepipe, and I went to the library. I got Lady of the Limberlost141 and a Psychology of Happiness142 for myself and a John Martin book143 for Ruth. Ralph was home in the evening. Mrs. Hendrix was in here [came to visit]. Ruth got a bowl of soup in State Restaurant with “an old tomato skin, a couple of peas, and juice.” 17: Sunday. We slept late, gave an old man144 his breakfast and talked awhile to him. Ralph and the girls put up the Christmas tree. This evening Ralph and I took a walk up to Pomeroy. There is a huge electric cross on the hill back of the market. 18: Ralph did not have to work today. We took a walk uptown in the afternoon and bought a doll and a pair of slippers. We took our good old time145 and looked at nearly everything in Pomeroy. Ralph went in his shirt sleeves, it was so warm and sunny. In the evening he went to Grogan’s in Middleport and got some candy. 19: Ralph walked uptown this morning. Went to work this afternoon, unloading apples. Went to Athens this afternoon to buy oranges. I finished reading Lady of the Limberlost. One thought of Gene Stratton Porter’s worth thinking about: “In the economy of Nature nothing is ever lost. I cannot believe that the soul of man shall prove the one exception.” 20: Ralph and I went out to Dad’s today in Barnitz’s truck, out over Eagle Ridge. Took Dad a pair of slippers, some Hershey kisses, some oranges and apples. We came home about 4:00. Dad seemed pretty good in his mind, but very weak in his right side; would lean to the right till he would nearly fall off his chair. His throat is bothering him, to, as he would gulp every little bit. Mom gave us a chicken for Xmas dinner. Ruth, Eleanor, and I walked uptown to buy some stockings for them tonight.146 It turned colder today, spit snow several times. 21: The first real cold day. I put a fire in the heater tonight for the first time. Ralph broke out with the chickenpox today. I fell on the stairs and was knocked sillier than ever. I stayed at the market this afternoon and sold apples and Christmas trees. It has snowed all day. 22: Bright, sunny day, rather cold. I washed today. School was out early today. The girls both had a [school] “treat.” 23: Clarence Wickline [Dad’s brother] was here this morning to see Ralph. I cleaned up the house, ironed this morning. This afternoon I stayed at the market. This evening the girls and I went uptown. I got Ruth a doll tonight. 24: Sunday. We stayed home all day. Ruth made a trip up to Sauvage’s for a Sunday paper. I dressed a chicken tonight. 25: Christmas Day. Bright, sunny day, rather cold, no snow. The girls got a doll apiece, and Mom got them a handkerchief147 each to wear on their heads. Mom gave us a nice chicken that we had for dinner. 26: I went uptown today, got some peanuts, and we made popcorn balls tonight, with peanuts in them.148 27: There was about 8 inches of snow on the ground this morning. The Fisher boy brought us some coal this morning. 28: Ralph shaved149 this morning, and we walked up to the library this afternoon, and got some books and magazines, and spent the evening reading. 29:(⊗)150 I washed today and hung the clothes in the kitchen tonight. When I went to put up my clothesline, it was short just the length of a “skippin’ rope.”151 Ralph went to the library for more books this afternoon. 30: Dark and cold most of the day. Strauder Grimm was buried Wednesday [Letart Fall Cemetery]. I cleaned up the house some today. I read Grey’s The Last Trail152 last night. Ralph went uptown this afternoon and again this evening. 31: Sunday. Colder today. A little more snow last night. I read Grey’s Thunder Mountain153 today. Tonight I ate oranges and popcorn, and when I was finishing up on apple pie and coffee, I popped a button off of my slacks. Ralph and I sat up and heard the New Year’s bells and whistles.
[Monkey Run, Pomeroy, Ohio] Jan. 1: Quite cold today. Some of my best flowers were frozen this morning in the kitchen.154 Elijah Balser died yesterday at Letart. About all we did today was eat and read. 2: Cold. The snow that fell the 27th does not seem to melt at all. Ralph delivered some potatoes for [Tom] Leifert. I read The Scouts of the Valley155 by Joseph Altsheler. 3: Ralph put in the afternoon up at Leifert’s. Brought home some grapes, tangerines, and sweet potatoes. I cleaned the house, washed the girls’ hair and my own, did some mending. In the evening I read Arizona Ames156 by Zane Grey. The river is nearly frozen over. A boat went up this morning, but it looks as if that was the last one for awhile. 4: Ralph went to Huntington [WV] this afternoon with Guy Schuler. It tried to snow this morning a little but was to cold. 5: Still colder today. It looks odd to see so many car roofs covered with snow that fell the 27th. It has not melted or been blown off. The sun shines brightly, but the snow don’t melt a bit. Ralph went to Reedsville [on the Ohio side of the river, below Parkersburg] today with Schuler for potatoes. 6: Ralph stayed up around Tom’s market [Midway] most of the day. I walked uptown to return my books to the library. The sun was shining brightly, but it is quite cold. The river is frozen over, and several people walked over from Mason City [WV] to Pomeroy to do their marketing. I read Betty Zane157 by Zane Grey this evening. 7: 158 Sunday. A dark, gloomy day, with a heavy snow falling at dusk tonight. I made soup and apple pies today, and about all we did was eat and read. Mom is 63 today. 8: The girls started back to school this morning after 2 weeks of Christmas vacation. Ralph peddled in Middleport and Rutland with Peck Brinker. I cleaned up the house, and finished reading Grey’s Hash Knife Outfit.159 9: The snow melted just a little bit this afternoon. I washed today. Ralph cut up a hog at the Front St. Market. 10: Ralph peddled some for Schuler, and I didn’t do much of anything after I got the house cleaned up. 11: About 3 inches of snow fell during the night. It is warming up today. The eaves have dripped all day. Ralph went to Huntington with Schuler this afternoon. 12: Ralph peddled today, and went to Reedsville for potatoes with Schuler. I didn’t feel good, and didn’t do much of anything. The snow melted and dripped all day. This was Audrey’s fifth birthday. 13: Ralph went up to Racine today and brought home some things his Dad had left there for him: meat and potatoes. 14: Sunday. It rained last night and melted the snow that fell the 27th of Dec. A high wind blowing this evening. We have just eat and read today. 15: The ice in the river broke up today. Ralph went to Huntington today with Schuler. Turned off our electric today.160 16: Ralph peddled some today. Got us half a ton of coal. It has snowed most all day, but doesn’t pile up very deep. 17: Snowed most all day. Eleanor had to bad a cold to go to school. Ralph was up at the market and peddled some. I washed. Ralph went to a political meeting tonight. 18: Ralph went to Huntington today with Tom L[eifert]. Eleanor stayed home from school. It tried to snow all day but was most to cold.
John William Blaettner, in his school outfit: Central School, Pomeroy, Ohio, 1940.
John William Blaettner161 came home with Ruth from school this evening. 19: The coldest day yet this winter. The paper says 11° below last night in Athens. Ralph was at the Front St. Market today. Made a few deliveries, but was to cold to do much of anything. Eleanor stayed home from school. 20: The river is frozen again this morning. Great cakes of ice have been floating down for several days, but this morning it is still. Ralph was up around the market today. 21: Sunday. Still very cold. The sun shone brightly, but doesn’t warm up any. We just sat around and read and ate today. [Pasted-in news photo and article about the ice floes jamming the Ohio River.]162 22: Above is the scene such as we see whenever we look out the upstairs windows. The water pipes were frozen today till we never did get them thawed. Seems to be frozen underground. Ruth went to school. Ralph was at the Front St. Market today. 23: It warmed up enough to snow heavily all day. Eleanor and Ruth both went to school. Ralph was at the market. 24: Colder today. Emory “Pinch” Wolfe died at Racine. He never spent a night outside of Racine in his 76 years. 25:(⊗) Bright sunshine all day, but very cold. I layed around with a cold, and Ralph put in the day uptown. 26: Sunny but cold as ever. Ruth didn’t go to school. 27: Ralph was uptown all day. I cooked a fat hen that his Dad sent us for supper. Cold and sunny. 28: Sunday. Ralph started north with Peck Brinker to McGuffey, Ohio,163 for a load of potatoes tonight. I read Zane Grey’s Heritage of the Desert.164 29: Believe it or not, it thawed a little today. Ralph got back from McGuffey around dark. I had so much fat left from the old hen that I made a gallon of “hen cookies.”165 30: A little warmer than usual today. The snow melted some. The neighbors bought a hog tonight: “Three dollars, Maw. What do you think of that—three dollars.” 31: Continued to thaw today. Ralph brought down Tom’s dump truck and got us some coal.
[Monkey Run, Pomeroy, Ohio] Feb. 1: No sunshine today. Ralph hauled 6 loads of gravel from Arthur Roush’s at Letart to the Thomas Fork/Rock Springs road. 2: The ground was white with snow this morning. The sun shone brightly all day, but was cold and didn’t melt the snow much. Ralph hauled 5 loads of gravel. 3: Bright, sunny day. Cold this morning, but spring-like this afternoon. Ralph had trouble starting the truck this morning, and had 2 blow-outs tonight on the last trip, and had to leave the truck below Racine. 4: Sunday. Tom [Leifert] took Ralph up to Racine to get the truck, and he worked most of the day on it. Cloudy, and rather warm and spring-like. 5: Cloudy and rather warm. Ralph hauled 3 loads of gravel, blew a gasket, and had to work on the truck. I went uptown and got the girls each a suit of underwear166 and a pair of stockings. 6: It was raining a little this morning, and Ralph didn’t go to work till after the girls went to school, so I went with him. He only made one trip today, as the others didn’t go out to work. 7: Very dark, gloomy day. Ralph hauled 5 loads of gravel, and got the truck buried in a slide. 8: The sun came out a little while this afternoon. I did a big washing, and Ralph hauled gravel. 9: Very dark day, foggy, and kind of a fine rain or mist. I dried and ironed clothes, and Ralph hauled 4 loads of gravel. 10: It was raining this morning. Ralph worked on the truck till noon. Then the girls and I went with him to Letart and went out to the cemetery [to Audrey’s grave]. After one trip he brought us down to the Central School, and we walked home from there. It was very sunny and spring-like in the afternoon, but we had rain in the evening, and quite a hail storm. 11: Sunday. We went out to Dad’s in Tom’s truck this morning and stayed till about 4 o’clock. The ice broke loose last night but gorged up again. We went out home by Bowman’s Run. The river was quite a sight, the ice piled high. We came home over Eagle Ridge. 12: A sunny, spring-like day. The ice in the river is running today, and a steamboat went up. The ice is all running on this side of the river; the other side was clear. Ralph hauled gravel. I baked pies, and cleaned around the house. The girls and I went uptown after school and got some valentines. 13: Winter again. It has snowed all day—great big wet flakes. Ralph hauled gravel till about 4 o’clock. 14: Deepest snow of the winter so far—this morning, 12 or 15 inches deep. It has snowed all day. Valentine’s Day. The girls were very interested in sending and receiving valentines. Ralph and I have been married 10 years today. 15: Bright sunshine all day, after the fog cleared away this morning. It has warmed up, and the snow has melted quite a lot today. 16: Bright and sunny today. The snow melted quite a bit, but still lots of it left. Ralph worked most of the day, pulling Sid and Tom out of ditches and getting stuck himself. 17: I washed today and dried my clothes outside. Ralph got us a ton of coal. 18: Sunday. A cold, dark day—light rain changing to snow. I read Churchill’s The Crossing,167 and Ralph read a book from the library. 19: A dark day. Ralph hauled 4 loads of gravel. Ruth stayed home from school with a cough. Eleanor wore one brown shoe and one black one to school today. I ironed some, and made cookies. 20: A dark, ugly day,168 with snow on the ground this morning. Snowed and rained most all day. Ralph went to the hothouse and got me a little red begonia. Mike Powell buried today at Letart. 21: A pretty nice day. I went with Ralph to Letart, stayed a couple of hours with Osa Heiney, and made another trip to Letart after that. Got home just after the bus run. 22: A raw spring day, dark, and spitting snow. Ralph hauled gravel. The Democrat169 tells of the death of Henry Dixon, 95, on Feb. 17, the last Civil War veteran in Meigs County. He was with Sherman on his famous “march to the sea.” 23: A beautiful sunny day. Ralph made 5 trips. I went one trip with him. 24: A fine rain fell all day. Not enough to stop them hauling gravel, tho. Ralph made 5 loads. 25: Sunday. Changeable today. I read Alcott’s Little Women.170 Ralph read, and made 2 trips uptown. The girls cut out paper dolls.171 26: Sunny this morning, but clouded over this afternoon. Ralph hauled 4 loads today. Ruth, Eleanor, and I went to see Swanee River172 at the Meigs Theater tonight. 27: The ground was white with snow this morning. Flakes were big as feathers. Turned to rain. Ralph hauled gravel till noon. After school we went uptown to get Eleanor’s tooth pulled. 28: Dark, misty, drizzly day. Ralph hauled gravel. Got stuck in the “narrows” in Antik.173 29: Ralph hauled gravel. I went 2 trips with him.
[Monkey Run, Pomeroy, Ohio] Mar. 1: A beautiful, sunny, spring-like day. I saw a girl on roller skates, and an old woman with a sunbonnet, the first real signs of spring. I washed. Ralph hauled 4 loads of gravel. 2: Ralph hauled gravel till noon: the boys got wet and quit shoveling. Then in the afternoon it cleared away and was nice and sunny. 3: Sunday. We went out home this morning. Went out over Eagle Ridge, and never since Grandma Jewett died 18 years ago have I seen the country roads so bad. We didn’t get stuck, but I certainly held my breath. Came home by Bowman’s Run. I read Capt. Billy Bryant’s Children of Ol’ Man River174 this afternoon. 4: Ralph hauled 5 loads today. It has been dark and misty. The river is rising—lots of drift running. I ironed and made baked beans and raisin pies. 5: I started uptown this afternoon and met Ralph on Kroger’s corner, so climbed in, and made a trip with him. I read The Great American Novel175 by Clyde Davis last night, and it is about as great a novel as this book [Mom’s journal] is. It is a 7-day book176 and quite popular now, but I can’t see why. 6:(⊗) Ralph came down after me about the time I got the house cleaned up this morning, and I went 2 trips with him. He made 5 trips today. They were patching the road out toward Leifert’s. I had never been up Naylor’s Run before. I got a big kettle for a flower.177 There was lots of drift in the river, and crows riding by the dozens. 7: Ralph hauled 5 loads today. The sun came out in the afternoon. We have had very little sun in March. 8: Dark and rather cold. A few snowflakes in the air. I went 2 trips with Ralph. He made 5 trips. 9: Ralph made 5 trips today. Another dark, cold day, with a few snowflakes. 10: [Sunday.] A most beautiful day, warm and sunny. I read Grandma Called It Carnal178 by Bertha Damon. 11: Cold today. Ralph hauled gravel till about 2 o’clock, then worked the rest of the day on the truck. 12:(⊗) Cold and dark, threatening. Ralph made 5 trips, and I did the washing. 13: Warmer today: dark, gloomy. I went 3 trips with Ralph. He made 5 trips. I finished reading The Mortal Storm179 by Phyllis Bottome. 14: Snowed most of the day, very sloppy, melted as it fell. Flakes were big as feathers. Ralph didn’t work today. Ruth’s birthday: she had a new dress, a “jumpin’ rope,” and a birthday cake with 8 candles. 15: Snowed all day, but did not seem to lay on much. Ralph hauled gravel; had quite a bit of trouble with the truck. The W.P.A.s started work on the road in Antik [Antiquity] today. 16: The sun came out awhile this afternoon. Ralph hauled 3 loads today, and they quit early—about 3 o’clock. 17: Sunday. We all went to see Northwest Passage180 at the Meigs [Theater] this afternoon. Then I went to see The Fighting 69th181 at the Bendvue [movie theater]. I finished reading Drums Along the Mohawk182 I weigh 96. I am getting fat. 18: Ralph hauled 4 loads of gravel. I went 3 trips with him. Warm and sunny this morning. I saw a couple of people planting garden. Several were running fertilizer for cabbage. Some very short, vivid yellow or orange flowers were out along Tom Wagner’s walk. I don’t know what they are, but they are very showy. It rained hard about 4 o’clock this evening. Ralph and Ruth went to see The Fighting 69th tonight. 19: Very spring-like, warm and sunny. Ralph hauled 3 loads, fixed broken springs, and got us 1½ ton coal. I made jelly and cookies. 20: Ralph hauled 5 loads today. I washed, and did most of the ironing. We had a little bit of March wind today for the first [time this year] and lovely sunshine all day. I finished reading Kindred of the Dust.183 21:(⊗) Very pretty day. Ralph hauled 6 loads today. I baked apple pies and sewed. Helen Green184 and John Wilt’s license in the paper tonight. 22: Blinding snowstorm about 8 o’clock this morning. After that, the sun came out, and it was a beautiful day. Ralph hauled 5 loads. I read Roark Bradford’s Ole Man Adam and His Chillun.185 It speaks of a man so mean that a rattlesnake bit him, and crawled away and died—pizened. Another place: a man who went to “cheer” a sick friend said, “I heerd ye wuz ailin’ so I branged ye these flowers. I figgered if I got here to late, they’d come in handy fer the funeral.” This was Good Friday. The teachers had given the children Easter treats tonight. 23: Quite cold today. Snow flurries. Thermometer down to 20. Ralph hauled 4 loads with Sid and Shivers this morning, 2 [loads] in his truck this p.m. Jim [Teaford] and Russ [Brown] worked at the greenhouse. I went uptown twice, went to the library for books for the girls. 24: Easter Sunday. To cold for comfort outdoors. A little pale sunshine. Ralph got the girls Easter baskets last night. I read Five Little Peppers and How They Grew.186 I brought it down for Ruth, but as I never got to read it when I was a kid I read it myself. The paper says it was 16° colder in Cleveland on Easter than it was at Christmas. It also says this is the earliest Easter since 1799 and will not be this early again till 2391. 25: Rather cold today, but sunny. Ralph made 5 trips. I rode one trip with him. On the way home tonight he stopped at the greenhouse and got me a variegated geranium and a little fern for Easter. 26: Cold today, so cold that my flowers nearly froze this morning. Some of the leaves were wilted down, but I got a fire built and revived them back up. Ralph had a cold, and didn’t go to work today. It was sunny till around 2 o’clock. The paper says the worst blizzard since 1888 in the east. In New York, snowdrifts 30 feet high. 27: Ralph didn’t work today. Ruth stayed home with a cold. I walked uptown in the evening for some cough drops, and the “Groundhog”187 walked home with me. 28: Warm today, rather cloudy. Ralph and I walked out to the greenhouse and got a geranium. We saw Della Carnahan as we were coming home. 29: Ralph made 5 trips today. I went 3 trips with him. I walked out to the cemetery. We drove up past the Jividen place.188 I see in the paper tonight that Velma Woods has applied for divorce. 30: Rained most of the night and all day today. I cleaned up the house and finished The Seven Ages of Woman189 by Mackenzie. Ralph went to the greenhouse and brought me 3 little sprengerii [asparagus fern]. 31: Sunday. Ralph hauled one load of gravel this morning to finish the job. Warm today, and threatening.
[Monkey Run, Pomeroy, Ohio] Apr. 1: Ralph stayed up around the market all day. I washed. Rained a little this morning, but cleared off and was a lovely day. Ruth said when she came from school: “I got 40 in arithmetic—April Fool!” 2: Raining this morning, soon cleared up and was a beautiful day. I baked pies, cleaned up the house, ironed, and the girls and I went uptown after they came from school. Got Eleanor a “jumpin’ rope.” 3: Ralph put in the day at the market. I sewed. The river is high. We had a sharp electric storm about 3:30. 4: Ralph was at the market today. Windy as a March day. I washed and ironed a few pieces. 5: I went up to the library this afternoon and got some books for the girls for over the weekend. I read awhile in the library. Saw Ralph’s dad uptown. Ralph was at the market all day. 6: Ralph was at the market. The girls and I were home all day. I finished Eleanor’s jumper190 this afternoon. 7: Sunday. Ralph went to Racine to Norris’s and to Dailey’s. The girls and I went to see The Bluebird191 at the Meigs Theater. We had light showers during the day. 8: Ralph got a new hat today. I went out to Reuter’s and paid 3 months rent. Went up to Barnitz’s this afternoon. 9: Dark day, with several showers. I finished reading A Far Country192 by Churchill. Ralph left for Freedom, Pa., with Bob Yost this afternoon. 10: A nice day, cool, tho. I washed today. The census taker was here. 11: I ironed today. Went up to the library this afternoon. Cloudy all day, light showers several times. Ralph came in about 9:30 tonight. They loaded with potatoes at Green Springs, Ohio.193 12: Quite a surprise this morning: snow. It was rather warm yesterday, but today it is cold and has snowed all day. My grandma used to say it was never spring till the elms were frozen back. The girls didn’t go to school today, as they were both on the honor roll.194 Ralph helped Bob Yost sort potatoes. 13: The ground was white with snow this morning, and we have had a number of blinding snow flurries today. I walked uptown this afternoon and got some head lettuce for supper. I cleaned up the house this morning. Then we just sat around and read. Ralph rode up to Racine tonight with Guy Schuler. When he came home he brought, as usual on Saturday night, the Sunday Pittsburgh Press [afternoon daily, 1884-1992], and a sack of salted peanuts. 14: Sunday. The sun shone all day, but it was cool. Ralph left about 9 o’clock this morning with Bob Yost. The girls and I were home all day. 15: Sprinkled at intervals all day. I went uptown, stopped at Barnitz’s. Wilma [Barnitz] was not able to work—hurt in an auto accident Friday night. Ralph came home tonight late from a trip to Green Springs for potatoes and apples. 16: Ralph went up to Racine today to help Yost sort potatoes. I baked pies and did some sewing. 17: We have had showers all day. Several hard electrical storms last night. Ralph stayed at Front St. Market all day. I went uptown just before supper, and he walked home with me. We met Mr. Groundhog and Unky Beegie and saw Aunt Jemima with her spats.195 18: My poor old Dad died196 this morning about 2 o’clock. John Roush told Ralph about 10 o’clock. Then about 4 o’clock Mom came down. We did not know he was any worse than usual. We have had several showers today. Ralph stayed at the market. 19:⊗ The worst day we have had in months. It has rained steadily, all night last night and all day today, just like the day Grandma Jewett lay dead. River is raising. 20: We went up to Finsterwald’s [Funeral Home] this morning, then out home in [Guy] Schuler’s truck. Went thru by Oak Grove, as the other way is torn up by WPA work. They took Dad straight from Finsterwald’s to the church.197 Funeral was at 2 o’clock. Group from Racine sang “Rock of Ages,” “Does Jesus Care,” and another song I did not know. Fine rain and mist all day, but there were lots there, considering the day. Frances Jewett198 was there, Earl199 was away cooking on a boat, and Glenn200 did not come. Hampton Carson seen to the digging of the grave, and had about the best one I ever saw in that cemetery [Sutton].201 Reuben McKay, Ben Morris, Hampton, and Dad used to dig nearly all the graves there, and one day promised each other to see that each one had a good grave as his turn came. It is so rocky that some do not dig the graves deep enough. Now they are all in their graves but Hampton. Charley Van Meter will be buried in that cemetery tomorrow. They were digging his grave today. Eliza Ervin told me that her husband was buried 29 years ago today. Died on the 18th, buried on the 20th. The water lacked about 18 inches of being over the road at Bowman’s Run when we came home. Everyone moving out on Front St. Dad always marked the texts of his friends’ and relatives’ funeral sermons in his Bible. His own were II Corinthians 3:2: “Ye are our epistles written in our hearts, known and read of men” and Psalm 37:32, “For the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in his way.” He was born May 10, 1870, in the Nease Settlement; later moved to Bashan near the old Brick Church. Then when he was 24 moved to the old home place, where his father [Barzilla]202 lived for 40 years. 21: Sunday. The sun came out today. River raising everywhere. 22: Sunshine today. River still raising. The [Gallipolis] Daily Tribune says there is 8 feet of water on Front Street. 23: Sort of cloudy all day. The river didn’t raise much today, but it didn’t fall any either. Ralph had a fight today in the Martin Hotel, and came home with his fist skinned. 24: The river is falling a little today. Ralph and I walked uptown this afternoon, up along the hill among the rocks. We sat up over Ewing’s cellars203 and enjoyed the scene. The river smells bad. Ralph went up to scrub out the Front St. Market tonight. 25: Cloudy most of the day. Ralph worked cleaning up the market. 26: I washed today. Ralph worked at the market. 27: Guy Schuler quit the market today. Ralph worked there today. Ruth, Eleanor, and I walked uptown this afternoon. 28: Sunday. We had breakfast about 11 o’clock. Ralph made a couple of trips uptown. I read Helen of the Old House204 by Harold Bell Wright. 29: Ralph worked at the market today. I kept him company till about 3 o’clock. The girls started back to school today after a week out due to high water.205 30: Ralph stayed at the market today. I walked uptown this afternoon to mail a letter to Elmer Jewett’s,206 and walked uptown with Ralph after supper to get a paper. He went to a political meeting tonight.
Eleanor Wickline, first-grade school photo: Central School, Pomeroy, Ohio, 1939-1940 school year.
[Monkey Run, Pomeroy, Ohio] May 1: Dark and cold: light showers, and an ugly wind. Ralph worked at the market. 2: A very disagreeable day, dark and cold. Ralph stayed at the market. I sewed today. 3: Ralph and Guy [Schuler] went to Huntington [WV] today. Sid stayed at the market. I walked uptown. Stopped at the Midway [Market], where they were cleaning cabbage plants. Very cold today. 4: Ralph worked at the market. I went uptown in the afternoon for some groceries. Ralph got himself an outfit of work clothes at Middleport for $2.50. 5: [Sunday.] Ralph and I took a walk uptown in the afternoon. We sat in Bruno’s awhile and had a sack of popcorn. Ralph went to the show in the evening. 6: I stayed at the market while Ralph and Guy went to Huntington. 7: Ralph worked at the market today. I started reading Laddie207 to the girls this evening. 8: Ralph was at the market all day. I walked up in the afternoon. 9: Ralph stayed at the market. I went up town this afternoon. Saw Eva and Sadie.208 10: Ralph stayed at the market. I washed. Dad would be “three-score and ten” if he had lived until today. 11: Ralph stayed at the market today. I was uptown twice. Went to the library for books for the girls. Then I went back up to the market with Ralph. They had flowers to sell today. Reuter’s could not haul the pansies in fast enough. 12: Sunday. I was home all day. Ralph went uptown, and the girls went down to the playground. I had new green beans with new potatoes steamed on top of them, new peas, and head lettuce for dinner. The girls picked me a big bunch of lilacs209 for Mother’s Day. 13: Ralph and Tom [Leifert] went to Huntington, and I stayed at the market. 14: Election Day. Jim Teaford came after us, and we went to East Letart and voted about 6 o’clock. Hobart Hayman tried to challenge our vote, and didn’t know how. Ralph and I were at the market most of the day. 15: Ralph stayed at the market, and I was there most of the day. We had a light shower in the afternoon, and it has turned cooler. Eleanor was vaccinated for diphtheria210 at school today. 16: Ralph stayed at the market all day. It has been cool, and is raining lightly tonight. 17: Ralph was at the market all day, and I was there several hours. 18: Ralph was at the market all day, and I went up about noon. 19: Sunday. Russell Wickline [Dad’s brother] got us out of bed this morning. He and Ralph made plans to go fishing. Ralph and I went down to the playground with the girls a little while. When we came back I invited Ralph to sit in the porch swing with me, and it fell down and some boards cracked us on the head. Ralph and Russ went fishing about 2 o’clock. 20: I washed today, and went uptown for some coffee and things after I finished. Ralph stayed at the market all day. This was the last full day of school for the girls this term, as they were on the honor roll, and will not go till Friday p.m. to get their grade cards. 21: Ralph stayed at the market. I ironed this morning, and went uptown awhile this afternoon. 22: Ralph stayed at the market, and I was there, to, most of the day. 23: Ralph stayed at the market all day. I was there quite awhile. We had a very nice shower this afternoon, and is still quite cloudy this evening. My Grandmother Jewett211 was born 96 years ago today. 24: Showers during the night and several times today. It was getting very dry and cutting the strawberry crop day by day. Ralph stayed at the market today. The girls went for their grade cards today. We have been reading Hiawatha212 aloud tonight: “Lo, how all things fade and perish! From the memory of the old men Pass away the great traditions. . . . Great men die and are forgotten, Wise men speak; their words of wisdom Perish in the ears that hear them. Do not reach the generations That as yet unborn are waiting In the great mysterious darkness.” Another beautiful passage: “Farewell, O my Laughing Water. All my heart is buried with you, All my thoughts go onward with you! Come not back again to labor, Come not back again to suffer. . . . Soon my task will be completed, Soon your footsteps I shall follow. . . .To the Land of the Hereafter!”213 25: Ralph stayed at the market. I went up about noon and stayed till around 5. They had a dozen boxes of home-grown strawberries for the first [time this season]. I went to the library for books for the girls. 26: Sunday. It was pretty this morning, but clouded up, and started to drizzle about noon. 27: Ralph and I stayed at the market today. It was cool and cloudy, and several very light sprinkles this evening. 28: I opened up the market this morning, and stayed till about 5 o’clock. Ralph took the red truck, and worked out on the Peach Fork road. Sybil Batey, Melvin Paulin,214 and Eddie Chapman died today. 29: I washed this morning, and went uptown this afternoon. 30: Decoration Day. Started raining about 7 o’clock in the morning. I went to Letart with Tom Leifert. I got 2 petunias, double, and a geranium, and dwarf marigolds for Audrey’s grave. About the only flowers in bloom are the iris and a very few oriental poppies. 31: I opened up the market this morning, and stayed till about 5 o’clock. Ralph worked with the red truck on the Peach Fork road. In the evening we went to Huntington [WV] in Tom’s car, got back about half past two. Tom shipped his first load of berries today. Had a hard shower about 4 o’clock. The sun only came out a few minutes, but folks got to pick berries most all day.
[Monkey Run, Pomeroy, Ohio] June 1: I stayed at the market with Ralph from 10:30 till 5. It was to wet for him to work on the road. 2: [Sunday.] I went to Letart on Barnitz’s truck and picked strawberries, or as some of the pickers said, “dug them out” [of the mud]. 3: I opened the market, and stayed till 6:30. Ralph drove the red truck on the Peach Fork road. 4: I opened the market, and stayed till 6:30. Ralph worked on the Peach Fork road. 5: I opened the market this morning. Ralph nailed up crates this morning, and made a trip to Huntington [WV] this afternoon. I walked out to the hatchery, and got 10 White Rock chicks for the girls. 6: Very hot today. I went out on the hill to Leifert’s and to Letart with Ralph. 7: Ralph stayed at the market. I went uptown in the morning to the paint store, and in the evening we went to Huntington in Tom’s car. Had a flat and no jack, so we sat along the roadside till morning.215 We were in a very hard rain on the way down. 8: I went to the library in the afternoon. Ralph worked at the market. 9: Sunday. I was home all day. We had a shower this morning. 10: We all went to Huntington this morning about 5 o’clock. It was very hot today. 11: I washed today, and Ralph stayed at the market. We had a hard rain about 4 o’clock. 12: Ralph worked at the market. They put in their ice box today. 13: Ralph worked at the market. I went with him to Letart to the cemetery. Paid Lige Shields for taking care of our [cemetery] lot.216 Got me a pair of white shoes at Hartley & Bennett’s. We went up Monkey Run to look at Lowe’s house this evening. 14: Ralph worked at the market. We went to Huntington about 5:30. There is so much honeysuckle growing wild all over the hillsides between here and Huntington. 15: Ralph put in the day at the market. I was home all day. He got himself a pair of dress shoes today. 16: Sunday. I stayed home all day. Ralph made trips here and there. 17: Raining this morning. Ralph went to Huntington and stayed at the market. He got his glasses today. Bub Hendrix217 went back to prison for stealing and wrecking a car. I sewed on a blouse. France fell today.218 18: Ralph worked at the market. I took a walk uptown in the afternoon. 19: Ralph worked at the market. The girls and I walked uptown and had their hair cut.219 20: Ralph worked at the market, and I did the washing. 21: Summer arrives today, but it is so cold that everyone is wearing their coats. Ralph worked at the market. I ironed and went uptown in the afternoon. The girls went to a program this evening at the recreation room. Ruth recited part of Hiawatha and Eleanor “The Cooky Jar Men.”220 22: I went uptown this afternoon and run across Mary221 just as she got off the bus, so she came home with me, and stayed for supper. Then we took her out to Mom’s in Tom’s car. We went out across Eagle Ridge, home by Bowman’s Run. We got out there just about dark. Mom was standing out toward the chicken house, and looked like she was afraid.222
Sylvia Pool, née Jewett, at the rear of the Jewett home: near Bashan, Ohio, about 1940. Note the Ford two-door sedan.
23: Sunday. Ralph and I went to see The Grapes of Wrath223 at the Meigs Theater in the afternoon. Had a good rain about dark. 24: Ralph worked at the market, and went to Huntington with [Guy] Schuler. He bought me a white [hand]bag today. I went up to Reuter’s this morning and paid the rent. 25: Ralph worked in the market, and I was home all day. Thundershower this p.m. 26: Ralph worked at the market. It has been quite cool for 2 days. Light showers this evening. 27: Cloudy all day. Ralph worked at the market, and I did the washing. 28: I put up224 pickles today. Went uptown twice for vinegar. Ralph worked at the market, and went to Huntington tonight with Russ Brown. 29: Very cool today. Lots of folks on the street wearing sweaters and coats. I went to the library and got some books for the girls. I read a French history tonight that gave the story of the French people from 55 B.C. to 1923 A.D. Ralph worked at the market. 30: Sunday. The girls went to the Meigs Theater by themselves to see Pinocchio.225 Ralph and I went up to the Lowe house a couple of times. Had to hurry home the first time we went up. Mr. Barnitz came and talked awhile. They have remodeled the Midway Market226 and opened up [on] Fridays.
[Monkey Run, Pomeroy, Ohio] July 1: Had a slow, easy rain last night. Cool today. Most folks wearing their coats this evening. Ralph stayed at the market till about 4. Then went to Huntington [WV] in the big truck with [Guy] Schuler. I have been home all day. Did some embroidery. The girls went to the playground. 2: Ralph was at the market all day, and I was home. It is to cool to sit in the porch swing tonight. Some lovely hollyhocks are blooming by the kitchen window. We have had music all summer from the [roller-]skating rink below the bridge. Some of the neighbors think it is a nuisance, but I kind of like it. 3: Ralph worked at the market. I went uptown for chickenfeed. Hayman Barnitz and Elva Dean Brinker were married today. 4: Ralph went to Columbus about 10 o’clock with Sid this morning. The girls and I carried some flowers [potted plants] and things up to the Lowe house.227 I took the girls up to the house yesterday evening, and they found 2 dolls, a cradle, little piano, [toy] sewing machine, etc. Clyde Weaver died yesterday. Ruth, Eleanor, and I sat out on the porch and watched the fireworks till we froze out. It has been cool all day. 5: Ralph worked at the market. I carried some things up to the house, and straightened around a little. Read aloud to the girls from Gene Stratton-Porter’s Life and Letters228 this evening. 6: Ralph worked at the market. We went to Middleport this morning and got a new $4 mattress. I also got 2 sheets, 2 bath towels, 2 washcloths, 2 pair of ruffled curtains. Guess I was buying by twos. Traded Jim Hendrix an old cupboard for a fishbowl, and sold Uncle Beegie 229 my old dresser. [Locust St., Pomeroy, Ohio] 7: [Sunday.] We moved to the Lowe house today. Used Tom’s [Leifert] truck, and Paul Hendrix and Strawberry Rupe helped. 8: Ralph worked at the market, and I did the washing. 9: Ralph worked at the market till about 4, then got ready to go to Columbus. I ironed today and washed windows and did lots of little jobs. 10: I cut some weeds and cleaned around outdoors. Ralph got back from Columbus about 3 o’clock. 11: Ralph worked at the market, and went to Huntington this evening. I washed this morning. This afternoon I washed my cabinet and cupboard230 and put some of my dishes away. 12: Ralph worked at the market. I went uptown this morning, and made 23 [quart] jars of [sauer]kraut after I got home. 13: I cleaned up the house this morning, and this afternoon Ruth, Eleanor, and I went up to the library. I got Tom Sawyer231 to read to them. 14: Sunday. Today we just ate and rested, and in the late afternoon Ralph and I walked uptown. Ralph got me a mirror and a cake for my birthday, and I got three “beatin’s.”232 15: I canned 7 qts. of beans today, and Ralph worked at the market. 16: Ralph worked at the market, and I canned 21 qts. beans. 17: Ralph worked at the market, and I washed. In the evening he went to Letart to load up tomatoes, and brought Betty Wilson to stay with the girls, and he and I started for Pittsburgh [PA] about 8:30. Little Audrey died 2 years ago today. 18:(⊗) We drove all night, and got into Pittsburgh just about daybreak. Drove for miles and miles thru heavy fog. My first time to Pgh.
Grace Wickline, photo-booth photo: Pomeroy, Ohio, 1940. Mom has brown eyes and brown hair.
Ralph Wickline, photo-booth photo: Pomeroy, Ohio, 1940. Dad has blue eyes and dirty-blonde hair.
Unloaded the tomatoes, and started home about 7 o’clock. Got home around 2:30. 19: I canned 21 qts. of beans today. Ralph worked at the market. 20: Cleaned up the house today, and went uptown in the late afternoon. Ralph came in from Columbus around 2 o’clock this afternoon. 21: Sunday. Ralph left this morning for Pittsburgh and Columbus or “versa vicey” as Ed Manuel used to say. I was home all day. 22: Washed today and did most of the ironing. The first really hot day we have had this summer. The paper said today’s high was 96°. Ralph got home a little after noon. Went back uptown but came home early. 23: Ralph was at the market till about 4 o’clock, then left for Toledo. I washed a quilt today. The girls have begun taking music lessons from Miss Smith. 233 24: Real hot today. I didn’t do anything but work on [embroider] a dresser scarf. Had an electrical storm last night, not much rain, tho. Haven’t seen anything of Ralph today. The girls went over to JoAnn Shaw’s and played with the water hose all afternoon. 25: Ralph came in from Toledo about 3 o’clock, shaved and changed clothes, and went back again. I didn’t do much today. It is very hot: 97°, the paper said tonight. 26: I canned 21 qts. of beans today. Ralph came in from Toledo about 4 o’clock. Started for Columbus about 10 tonight with tomatoes. He brought me 4 goldfishies.234 27: Very hot. I cleaned up the house this morning, and went uptown this p.m. It was so miserable hot that I came home in a taxi. Ralph got in from Columbus about noon, and worked the rest of the day at the market. 28: Sunday. Slept late and just lazed around. I read Gene Stratton-Porter’s Her Father’s Daughter.235 29: Ralph worked at the market today. The girls and I took a walk out the road to the lakes and cabins this morning. It was very hot, but there was a spring out there where the water was so cold that it made our hands numb when it dripped on them. We had a light thundershower today. I canned 6 quarts of beets. The [Athens] Messenger says yesterday was the hottest day in 4 years, 99° in the shade. 30: Ralph worked at the market. I made 2 trips uptown. Got the girls 2 playsuits and a dress, and got a dish and glass-bake casserole with pie-plate cover with my Octagon coupons.236 We had a light shower this evening. Has been very hot today. 31: Hotter than ever. The paper says 103°. Ralph worked at the market. I walked uptown and got 2 more playsuits for the girls. I cleaned the cellar. Quite a job.
[Locust St., Pomeroy, Ohio] Aug. 1: It turned cool yesterday evening, and was one grand night to sleep. We slept under a quilt. Ralph didn’t go to work till about 3 today, as he was not feeling well, but went to Detroit this evening. I canned 18 qts. of beans today. 2: I washed today. Ralph got back from Detroit this afternoon. Believe it or not, it is to cool to be comfortable sitting outdoors tonight. 3: Cool, fall-like day. Ralph worked at the market. I cleaned up the house, and went to the library. 4: Sunday. A cool, pleasant day. Ralph and I took a walk out to the cabins and spring. I read Gene Stratton-Porter’s book Homing with the Birds.237 It was very interesting to me. Wish my Grandma Jewett could have read it, as she was a bird lover. I remember her martin box, the robin that always nested on the porch, great flocks of birds she fed in winter. The only hummingbird nest I ever saw was in her apple tree. 5: Ralph worked at the market. I didn’t do anything much but worked on [embroidered] a dresser scarf. 6: We had a wonderful rain today. It was getting very dry. Ralph worked at the market. Some men started cleaning the house, getting ready to paint. 7: Ralph went to Columbus last night and worked at the market today. 8: Ralph went to Col. last night, worked today at the market. I made 9 pints of chili sauce today. 9: Ralph worked at the market, and I did the washing. He went to Col. tonight. 10: I cleaned up the house. Went to the library in the evening. Read Gene Stratton-Porter’s What I Have Done with Birds238 tonight. 11: (//)239 Sunday.
Ellie and Ruth Wickline, on Locust St.: Pomeroy, Ohio, 1940.
We took a walk out the road to see THE PARK the kids had been talking about. 12: Ralph worked in the restaurant, building booths. The men finished the painting240 this morning. 13: Ralph worked in the restaurant. I finished up my dresser scarf today. 14: Ralph worked in the restaurant. 15: Ralph worked in the restaurant. I washed clothes, and cut off corn. Ralph sent 3 bushel of tomatoes out to Rupe’s to be canned, and the corn also.241 Ruth and I cleaned the chicken coop, and put in new bedding, and Rooster was so very pleased he did his best to crow.242 16: Ralph worked at the market, and this evening he went to Jackson for apples and to Columbus. I ironed today, and went uptown this evening. 17: I cleaned up the house and in the evening went to the library. Ralph worked in the restaurant, sanding the floor. 18: Sunday. I read Gene Stratton-Porter’s Birds of the Bible.243 I hope to have a copy of my own sometime, as it is a wonderful book, one that could be read over and over again. Years of research, years of personal experience, and some quality of insight and appreciation that doesn’t just happen, but comes, I think, from several generations of educated ancestors. And I do not mean educated like Allen Bradford, who helped paint here last week. He is ready to enter Ohio State University this fall, and when his father asked him what the interest on $1000 at 5% for a year would be, he finally decided it would be $500. We have had a little shower this evening. It is getting very dry. 19: Ralph worked today at the restaurant, and I did the washing. We had a storm last night, and the door of the playhouse fell on Nelly and mashed her.244 Ralph brought in the corn, 41 cans, and 61 of tomatoes. Ruth got stuck in the big stone jar, and we thot we would have to roll her over the hill.245 20: Ralph worked at the restaurant. I ironed. 21: Ralph worked at the market. I made ketchup. Ralph was 35 today. The girls went to the circus [traveling carnival] this afternoon and rode the elephant.246 Ralph got himself a suit of work clothes. The paper says it was down to 48° this morning at 6 o’clock. Folks wearing coats and sweaters. I got the girls 4 sun suits the last of July, and they have froze around in them all thru August. 22: I went uptown this morning, and got 2 dresses for the girls at Elberfeld’s [Department Store]. Then this afternoon Ralph and I went to Huntington [WV] in the truck. He bought produce while I went to the stores. We got the girls 2 more dresses, 2 skirts, 8 [under]pants, 2 dinner buckets,247 Ralph a sweater and kerchiefs.
Ellie, left, and Ruth Wickline, right, in new haircuts and new school dresses: Pomeroy, Ohio, fall 1940.
23: I washed a little today, and sewed this afternoon. Ralph worked uptown today, and left for Columbus tonight. 24: I cleaned up the house, and this afternoon I went uptown. Ralph worked at the market. 25: Sunday. It was just so uncomfortable today that I made a fire in the grate. Read most of the day. 26: Ralph worked at the market today. I didn’t do much of anything as I am having my turn of the summer flu. 27: Ralph worked today, went to Huntington for produce this morning. I went uptown this afternoon with him to get some wheat for my chicks. Had the heaviest rain since spring yesterday, and showers today. Charley Miller was here. 28: Ralph went to Chillicothe today. We have rain every afternoon now. 29: Ralph worked at the market today. The girls and I went uptown and got them shoes, socks, and haircuts. We had a hard rain this afternoon again. 30: Rain and more rain. Ralph worked at the market today. The girls went to school this morning to arrange for books and classes. 31: We didn’t have any rain today, tho it was cloudy. Ralph worked at the market. I cleaned up the house, and in the evening I went up to the library.
[Locust St., Pomeroy, Ohio] Sept. 1: Sunday. I was home all day. Ralph made a trip or 2 uptown. I read part of Experiment in Autobiography248 by H.G. Wells. 2: Labor Day. Ralph stayed at the market. I canned peaches and made corn salad. 3: 249 Ralph worked at the market, and I ironed and canned peaches. 4: I washed today. Ralph worked at the market. 5: Ralph went to Columbus last night, worked part of the day at the market. I went uptown in the afternoon and got myself a dress to wear to the fair. 6: Ralph didn’t go to the market today. He helped in the restaurant. This was the last day of the fair. I ironed. No school today on account of the fair. This evening I finished reading Parade of the Animal Kingdom250 by Robert Hegner. 7: Ralph didn’t work today. I cleaned the house, and the girls and I went to the library in the evening. 8: Sunday. The girls and I were home all day. I read in H.G. Wells’ Outline of History.251 9: Ralph didn’t do anything today. It is very cool and fall-like, but woods and grass are green as mid-summer. 10: I went uptown for chickenfeed. Made raisin pies after I got home. 11: Ralph just running around today. I made cookies and read. 12: Cold and dark. I washed today. We have been keeping a fire in the grate all the time. Don’t know as I ever saw such cool weather in Aug. and Sept. so far. 13: Ralph went with Tom [Leifert] today to look at apples. I ironed and mended. Mary [Mom’s youngest sister] finishes her three-year nursing course today. She pasted 3 red hearts on the kitchen wall just before she left home, and took one down each year. Poor old Dad didn’t live to see her take down the last one. 14: I cleaned the house, then went up to the library with the girls. It has warmed up enough today that we could go without coats. 15: [Sunday.] Ralph went to Cincinnati today with apples for Tom. The girls and I were home all day. I made cookies and pies for the school lunches tomorrow, and read The Oregon Trail252 by Francis Parkman. 16: Ralph got back from Cincinnati about noon. I washed some bedclothes today. 17: Ralph went to get set up to sort apples, and went over the river [in West Virginia] to look at orchards this afternoon. I washed today. 18: Ralph sorted apples. I ironed and made jelly. 19: Not quite so cold today as it has been. Ralph sorted apples for Tom. I worked on a bushel of grapes. 20: I washed today, and Ralph worked at the orchard for Tom. 21: Ralph worked at the orchard for Tom. I cleaned the house, and tonight went to the library. I brought Uncle Remus and His Friends,253 and read aloud to the girls. 22: Sunday. We cooked one of our chickens today. We walked out to Beech Grove Cemetery. Got a [roll of] film254 and took some pictures along the way. 23: I went uptown today for chickenfeed. All the old-age pensioners were in town to a meeting. I sat down in the restroom for a couple of hours. Verna T. Slaughter was there, smoking her corncob pipe, and chawin’ tobacco at the same time, and peering over her specs. I was very sick after I got home. Ralph helped Sid haul potatoes. 24: I was sick all day, and Ralph stayed home. We had a hard storm and an all-night rain. 25: Ralph went to Huntington [WV] with J.A. Curtis. 26: Ralph went to his Dad’s this afternoon. 27: Ralph went to Columbus with J.A. Curtis. 28: I washed a few things I had to have.255 Ralph worked in the beer joint tonight.256 29: [Sunday.] Ralph went to Huntington. I made pies and cookies. Mary came from Parkersburg [WV] this afternoon. 30: Ralph went to Kanauga.257 Got us a load of coal this morning in Barnitz’s truck.
Dad (Ralph Wickline): Pomeroy, Ohio, fall 1940.
Mom (Grace Wickline): Pomeroy, Ohio, fall 1940.
[Locust St., Pomeroy, Ohio] Oct. 1: Ralph went to Middleport and Hartford today. Mary and I killed a chicken258 for supper. 2: Mary went home this evening. Ralph and Mr. Barnitz went to Portland for beans and dropped her off out home. 3: I washed a few things today. 4: I baked pies and ironed. 5: I cleaned up part of the house, and fixed over a dress for Ruth. I finished reading H.G. Wells’s Outline of History. H.G. Wells arrived in U.S.A. Friday for a 10-week stay. 6: [Sunday.] Ralph went to Charleston [WV] with Frank Allen. 7: A dark, drizzly day. Ralph said he went to Charleston again with Frank Allen. 8: I did a big washing. Ralph said he took a load of coal to Lancaster. 9: Ralph loafed around Middleport. 10: I ironed and mended.
Ruth (8½) and Dad (Ralph, 35) and Ellie (7) Wickline: Pomeroy, Ohio, fall 1940.
Ralph is supposed to have gone to Columbus on a coal truck. 11: Ralph says he came back from Col. with Buster Cummins. 12: Ralph worked tonight in the Idle Hour. 13: Sunday. Eleanor’s birthday.259 Had a birthday cake, and I gave her a coloring book I had put away. Ralph says260 he went to Ironton. 14: Ralph went to Huntington with Curtis. 15: Ralph worked this afternoon for J.A. Curtis. 16: Ralph registered this morning for the draft,261 [ages] 21-36 inclusive. He worked this afternoon for Curtis. Bill Wm. came this evening a little while. 17: Ralph picked 3 bushel of pears this morning. Worked for Curtis this p.m. 18: Ralph went with Mr. Curtis to Columbus this afternoon. I brought my flowers into the house. 19: Ralph worked all day for Curtis. 20: Sunday. Ralph said he took Mr. & Mrs. Curtis to Logan. 21: Dark, gloomy day. Ralph went over to the salt works.262 22: Ralph worked in the afternoon for Curtis. I washed. 23: I ironed today. Ralph worked this p.m. for Curtis. 24: I cleaned up leaves, baked cookies, and went to the library. Ralph worked for Curtis this afternoon.
Ruth and Mom (Grace) and Ellie Wickline: Pomeroy, Ohio, fall 1940.
25: Ralph helped Curtis this morning. 26: Ralph and I went to the library this afternoon. I read The Heart of Burrough’s Journals263 this evening. 27: Sunday. To nice a day to stay home: warm and sunny, with leaves tumbling down. The girls and I took a walk uptown in the afternoon. Dahlias and chrysanthemums at their best. We saw some of the most beautiful white roses in bloom. Ralph said he was going to Charleston with Frank Allen. He is out every Sunday from noon till midnight with a fast, drunken crowd, and has some big lie to tell about where he has been. 28: Ralph began working steady for J.A. Curtis264 this morning. I canned pears today. 29: Ralph worked today. A Halloween party tonight at school, but we didn’t go because of the rain. 30: The leaves sure tumbled last night in the wind and rain. Most trees bare this morning, and no frost yet to hurt anything. Not enough frost to hurt the tender sultanas265 left outdoors. Ralph worked today, and I ironed and canned pears. 31: Ralph worked for Curtis, and I canned more pears.
[Locust St., Pomeroy, Ohio] Nov. 1: It has rained all day, a cold, driving rain. No school today as there is a teachers’ meeting at Athens. Ralph left early this morning for Columbus with Curtis. 2: I cleaned up the house. In the evening, went to the library. Ralph worked for Curtis. 3: [Sunday.] A beautiful day. I read A Man for the Ages by Bacheller. It says in the book that life is like sitting backwards on a fast riding horse. You can’t see the dangers or anything that lies ahead; you can only look at what is past.266 Tonight I finished reading Locusts and Wild Honey267 by John Burroughs. 4: Ralph worked today. I sewed and made pear preserves. 5: Election Day. Dark, cold, gloomy day, light drizzles occasionally. Well, right or wrong, I marked my X for Roosevelt again. I probably would not have voted for a third term if the Republicans had run a man, but I could not stomach Blow-Hard Wilkie, with Hoover behind him, and the German-American Bund268 endorsing him. 6: Ralph worked for Curtis, and I did a big washing. 7: Ralph worked. Roosevelt beat Wilkie about 4 million votes. 8: The first real frost last night. So cold that it wilted some of my geranium leaves in the kitchen. Ralph worked. I washed some of his clothes in the afternoon. 9: I cleaned up the house, and Ralph worked for Curtis. 10: [Sunday.] Dark, gloomy day, with occasional drizzles. You can’t tell whether it is rain or snow. 11: High wind. Chunks of [tar]paper roof laying all over the yard. Eleanor couldn’t go to school, for she has a bad cough. Ralph went to Columbus for Curtis. 12: Ralph worked. I went uptown this p.m. 13: Ralph worked. I sewed. Paul Alexander269 buried today in Letart Cemetery. Carried mail out of Letart for years. 14: Waldo Keisteling buried today in Letart Cemetery, Letart’s ferryman. Ralph worked today. I made Eleanor a nightgown. The girls and I cut the buttons off of old clothes and started a new poinsettia button box270 tonight. 15: First snow of the season. Ground was white this morning, and it has snowed steadily all day. Ralph got some coal, and went to Huntington with Curtis. Eleanor has not been to school this week. We made a nightgown for Ruth’s doll, and surprised her when she came from school. 16: Bright and sunny, but cold. Ralph worked. 17: Sunday. I read Sharp Eyes and Other Papers271 by John Burroughs, and started The Future in America272 by H.G. Wells. It is very interesting, as it has been 32 years since it was published , and he wrote of what would happen in “the next 30 years or so.” It is an amazingly accurate forecast of conditions of today. 18: Eleanor started back to school after being out a week. Ralph worked today. 19: Ralph worked today. I washed a big comfort. 20: Ralph worked. Ruth was home today, as she was on the honor roll. Eleanor had to go on account of missing [school]. 21: Thanksgiving Day in our state. 22: Very warm today. I finished reading God, the Invisible King273 by H.G. Wells. 23: Ralph worked today. I went uptown and got shoes and stockings for the girls and went to the library. Paid $1.79 ea. for the shoes. 24: Sunday. I cooked a chicken for dinner.274 Read in The Research Magnificent275 by H.G. Wells this afternoon. Made gingerbread this evening for the school lunches tomorrow. “Little Howard” Wolfe276 buried this afternoon in Sutton Cemetery. 25: Ralph worked today, and I did the washing. 26: It has rained most of the day. I made ginger cookies. Ralph worked. 27: Ralph didn’t go to work today. Very dark day, a few snowflakes in the air. 28: Ralph worked in the afternoon. Cold and dark. 29: Ralph worked. I washed. 30: Ralph worked today. I went to the library in the evening.
[Locust St., Pomeroy, Ohio] Dec. 1: Sunday. The girls and I were home all day. Eleanor upset the little cupboard on her[self] today. I read Kipps277 by H.G. Wells. 2: Ruth stayed home today with a cold. Ralph worked. 3: Ralph worked today. Dark and cold. 4: Dark, cold day. Ralph worked. 5: Ralph worked. 6: Ralph worked. Ruth and Eleanor went to a Bingo party at The House tonight. Ruth won 2 prizes. Eleanor has such a croupy cough I had to stay up and doctor her most of the night.278 7: I went uptown and got a few things for the children’s Xmas and went to the library this evening. 8: Sunday. I read Christ in Concrete279 by Haworth, baked cookies, and washed and ironed some things that were worn yesterday and must be worn tomorrow.280 9: Ralph worked. 10: Ralph worked. I went uptown this afternoon. 11: I washed today. It started to rain this p.m. 12: Dark and raining a little. Ralph worked. 13: This book is hardly worth keeping anymore. I have been leaving out the bad checks, piled-up rent [due], drunken whores, etc., that make life so interesting. 14: The girls got 55¢ each for their chickens,281 and we went uptown and they got part of their Christmas presents. Ralph worked. 15: Sunday. Home all day. Ralph pretends to go up north of Columbus to deliver the fur every Sunday. Stays till after midnight and comes home half drunk. 16: Ralph worked. 17: Ralph worked. 18: Ralph worked for Curtis, and I started working at the fur house for Mr. Curtis. I find from the books282 that the fur has been sold twice this year, and sold at Athens on Monday morning. 19: We both worked today. 20: Both worked today. School out now till the 6th of Jan. The girls had a little school treat tonight. Ruth feels pretty bad tonight. Has a bealed ear.283 21: Both worked. I had my first taste of coon today. Harvey Still cooked one and gave us all some. I took the girls uptown tonight, but Ruth got sick284 and had to come home. They dragged the Christmas tree in today and stood it in the corner. 22: Sunday. Ruth trimmed her first Xmas tree by herself today. I washed and scrubbed. 23: We both worked today. Ruth has cried about all day with the earache. 24: Both worked today. I worked 5½ days for $6. Mr. Curtis gave us a 7½ lb. Barred Rock285 young rooster for Christmas. Ralph gave him a can of Granger [pipe tobacco], and we gave Harvey a bowl of cookies. I went uptown tonight for the things I needed. 25: Christmas Day. Very warm, no snow, bright sunshine all day. I didn’t cook the chicken, as Ruth hasn’t been able to eat anything, and I will wait till she can help eat it. Had ham, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, head lettuce, fruit salad, and cake for dinner. Ruth got Ralph a pipe. Eleanor got him a little knife, and he got a shaving set, also gifts from “friends.” Eleanor got me stockings, Ruth got me a pen and pencil set. The girls got gloves, coloring books, cut-out books, tree books,286 Dutch boy and girl287 sets,288 and pocketbooks with money. 26: Real warm today. Ralph worked. 27: Ralph worked today. The girls went uptown this morning and bought some colors [crayons]. Have spent quite a lot of time coloring today. It began raining at noon, has rained lightly all p.m. Tom Leifert closed his market the 26th. 28: I cleaned up the house. Went to the library in the evening. Read in 1001 Garden Questions Answered289 by Alfred Hottes. Ralph worked. 29: Sunday. I read All This and Heaven, Too290 by Field. Dark, drizzly day, and turning colder. 30: Warm and spring-like. Ralph worked today. 31: Ralph worked. I washed. The last day of 1940.291
END OF DAYBOOK II
[last several pages of Daybook II:]
“Indian Lullaby” Chas. Myall
“Rock-a-by, hush-a-by, little papoose /The stars come into the sky/
The whippoorwill’s crying, the daylight is dying /The river runs murmuring by.
The pine trees are slumbering, little papoose /The squirrel has gone to its nest/
The robins are sleeping, the mother bird’s keeping /The little ones warm with her breast.
Then rock-a-by, hush-a-by, little papoose /You sail on a river of dreams/
The Manitou [Indian deity] loves you and watches above you /Till time when the morning light gleams.”
1) [3 animals cut out by a child: and pasted in: elephant, dinosaur, rabbit.]
2) [News photo and article about a youth, Robert Wadlow, 8 ft., 9½ in. tall, who died in Michigan, had appeared in Athens under sponsorship of a shoe company.]
3) [Editorial about Paul Alexander, the long-time Letart Township mail carrier (died Nov. 13, 1940, see journal entry):]
“SADLY MISSED. (An Editorial) Those Meigs County people who live on the rural mail route out of Letart Falls, miss a kind and helpful friend and a quiet, unassuming public servant. With the death last week of Paul Alexander, they have lost one who served them for the last quarter of a century, patient and uncomplaining as he daily made his way over his twenty-mile mail route. (¶) Mr. Alexander left the school teaching profession twenty-four years ago to become the rural mail carrier for the people on the Letart Falls Route. At that time improved roads were scarcely heard of in Letart Township and for years it was necessary for Mr. Alexander to change horses at a halfway point on his route during the winter months. This change was necessary that the mail might reach all the homes on mud roads which in winter were almost impassable, even for a two-wheeled cart. In recent years, the improved roads had made Mr. Alexander’s job more pleasant, and it is to be regretted that his untimely demise deprived him of the right to enjoy a job which he earned by so much perseverance and unpleasantness. (¶) For twenty-four years Mr. Alexander had brought to the residents of Letart R.F.D. the messages of their good or bad fortunes, news of deaths, births, marriages. He was a friend of every family on his route, quick to do a favor and had earned the respect of the hundreds of people who daily watched for his pause at their rural box. He is sadly missed.”
1) [Emmett Jewett obituary (died Apr. 18, 1940; Daybook II entry):]
“EMMETT JEWETT DIES AT BASHAN HOME. Emmett G. Jewett, aged 69, passed away early this morning at his home near Bashan following a lingering illness. Surviving are his widow, four daughters, Mrs. Letha Morris of Bashan, Mrs. Sylvia Pool, of Cleveland, Mrs. Grace Wickline, Pomeroy, and Mary Jewett of Parkersburg, and two brothers, Glenn, of Long Bottom R.D., and Earl, of Portland. (¶) Funeral services will be held on Saturday afternoon at two o’clock at the Sutton Church with burial by Finsterwald in the Sutton cemetery.”
2) “Surely not in vain /My substance of the common Earth was ta’en
And to this Figure moulded, to be broke, /Or trampled back to shapeless Earth again.” [from Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam]
3) [Poetry snippet cut from an unidentified source and pasted in:]
“I go mine, thou goest thine; /Many ways we wend,
Many ways and many days, /Ending in one end.
Many a wrong and its crowning song, /Many a road and many an Inn;
Far to roam but only one home /For all the world to win.”
“I located the words via an Internet search in a 1924 Freemason bulletin, but that is probably not the original source, which seems to be George MacDonald, “Phantasties, Chapter 22,” with slightly different words. Oddly enough it’s also the lyrics of a song in a 1994 rock album “Phantasties” by Johan Asherton.” [Ruth]
4) “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” [from “Hallowed Ground” by Thomas Campbell]
5) “Man wants but little here below /Nor wants that little long.” [from “The Hermit,” stanza 8, by Oliver Goldsmith
6) “When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them.” Plato
[Page 98:] Some poems the girls want to remember:
“Mom loved poetry and she could recite pages of it, especially Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and William Cullen Bryant. I vividly recall to this day—more than 70 years—Mom’s reading these poems to us. Mom had a very expressive style of recitation, and these metrical poems contain a lot of onomatopoeia that she took full advantage of. Her nasal twang and Appalachian accent are indelible auditory memories I cherish.” [Ruth]
1) “Mr. Duck and Mr. Turkey” [author unknown]:
“Mr. Duck went to call on Mr. Turkey /And he walked with a wobble, wobble, wobble.
Mr. Duck said, ‘How d’you do’ to Mr. Turkey; /Mr. Turkey said, ‘Gobble, gobble, gobble.’
Mr. Duck then answered, ‘Quack, quack, quack’ /And turned around to go right back.
Mr. Turkey said, ‘I will walk with you’ /And they looked so very queer, those two:
Mr. Duck was walking, wobble, wobble wobble; /Mr. Turkey talking, ‘Gobble, gobble, gobble.’”
2) “The Cooky Jar Men” [author unknown; recited by Ellie, Daybook II: 06/21/1940:]
“The cooky jar men hopped out one night /When the cooky jar lid was not on tight.
The gingerbread man opened raisin eyes /And looked about in great surprise.
The frolicsome bunny twinkled his nose /And hopped around on his cooky toes.
The sugary duck began to quack /And shake the sugar off his back.
The cinnamon bear began to grunt, /For he was too fat to do a stunt.
The coconut lamb jumped up so high /That his little white tail flew toward the sky.
Now they were so happy to be at play /That they danced and danced and danced till they
Danced and danced so very far /That they never got back to the cooky jar.”
1) [A cartoon:] “Hello, Ma. Is one package of starch too much to use for a size-16 shirt?”
2) [An optical illusion:] “Look thru either end.”
3) [A pasted-in newsprint of a letter by Chas. P. Alexander, justice of the peace, of Letart Falls to a query about “glass boats” to the newspaper. Source unknown:]
“State of Ohio, County of Meigs, SS:
“Before me, a Justice of the Peace, in and for the said County, personally appeared Thomas Wagner, who being duly sworn deposes and says: That during the years 1901 to 1911 he was partner and associated in the business of merchandising of glassware, Queens ware, notions, etc., by and on boats along the shores of the Ohio River and its tributaries from its headwaters to the mouth of the ‘Big’ Kanawha River at Point Pleasant, W. Va. These boats were variously called glass boats, Queens ware boats, trading boats, and in some localities junk boats. They purchased glassware at such towns as Rochester, Pa., Steubenville, Ohio, Moundsville, W. Va., and Marietta, Ohio: queens ware and pottery products at East Liverpool, Ohio; enamelware and gray iron-ware such as cake pans, bread pans, stove pipe, etc., at Bellaire, Ohio, and Parkersburg, W. Va. They ascended the Muskingum river as far as Crooksville in the famous Zanesville section for other supplies of glassware and pottery products. (¶) They accepted in trade ‘junk’ (as it was called) such as old iron, brass, copper, ropes, rags, rubber, old papers, etc. (¶)At Wellsville, Ohio, the old rope, rags and paper were sold for use in manufacture of heavy bags such as flour sacks. (¶)There are many persons along the Ohio river more than sixty years of age that can recall that people of all ages from about 8 years up, gathered the junk and waited for the boats each year—usually during the summer. (¶) The boat managers circularized the towns as they approached, announcing the time of arrival. (¶) The origin of the trading-boat business was in the problem of transportation. In those days, the last quarter of the last century and for about fifteen years of this century, river transportation was the cheapest. The boat-store business saved the factories the cost of crating and transporting. The boat merchant brought the wares directly from the factory to the consumer. (¶) The business is only one of many that passed with improved and more rapid transportation. [signed] Thomas Wagner.” “Signed and acknowledge before me this 2nd day of April, 1940, at Letart Falls, Ohio. [signed] Chas. P. Alexander.”
[Mom adds:] “Dish boats” we called them, and I remember carrying a pair of rubber arctics [overshoes] down to the riverbank to trade a red-headed dish-boat woman when I was about 4 years old. She beat some blue tumblers, that Mom bought, on the table with all her might to show that they wouldn’t break. Mom still has them after about 28 years, too. [“I had one of them for a long time, kept it in the window greenhouse. It was of heavy deep blue glass, with a grape-leaf motif. It finally did chip on the bottom in a fall, and I discarded it along with many other things when we moved out of the Bedford Rd. house.” Ruth]
[The inside back cover has news photos of Letart Falls. One of them is of our house in Apple Grove, with 200 berry crates piled in the yard. See May 23, 1939, above, where Mom notes tartly that we three had to put them away. A man who looks like Dad is walking in the side yard.]
1 Took his bus: For reasons undisclosed, probably a “fuss,” Dad loses his school-bus-driving rights (see Daybook I: 09/01/1938), and our means of transportation. Apparently he doesn’t get reinstated until Feb. 27, when Mom notes that Dad again drove the bus 2 trips. ↑
2 Hothouse: a heated structure, usually with glass walls and roof, in which young plants can grow at a stable temperature. Dad had spent a lot of time building a hothouse for Dan Hartinger—constructing sash, hauling dirt and manure, and putting up the stovepipe—starting in Daybook I: 12/03/1937, and for several weeks after. ↑
3 Red plate: The box of oats included a red-painted glass plate as a premium; also see Daybook I: 12/25/1938, children’s Christmas gift list. ↑
4 Bottom: creek bed. The stream behind our house is one of the many feeder creeks that empty into the Ohio River. When the river is high, the high water backs up into these creeks and sometimes covers low bridges as well. Often called backwater (see Feb. 4, next, where Mom writes that the “backwater” has frozen). ↑
5 Hampton Carson: a neighbor. He owned the next farm over from Jewett’s home place near Bashan, Ohio (Meigs County). ↑
6 Clifford Morris: Mom’s brother-in-law, Letha’s husband: Clifford S. Morris (b: 5 Sep 1891; d: 1983.) He married Letha Jewett on 17 May 1924. They had two sons: Earl Barton Morris and Earl Seldon Morris. His parents were Benjamin E. and Fanny Morris, née Smart. He is buried in Sutton Cemetery (Sutton Twp.), Meigs Co., Ohio, along with his wife, his parents and his wife’s parents. ↑
7 Got Dad’s Ford: Currently we can’t afford a truck or car. Granddad is too feeble to drive and Grandma doesn’t drive. We have been depending on neighbors again for transportation now that Dad doesn’t have the use of the school bus. ↑
8 Gone with the Wind: Margaret Mitchell, 1936 novel. ↑
9 Hardening-of-the-arteries: arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, plaque buildup—a thickening and hardening of artery walls. Although Granddad was frail—his stroke and hardening of the arteries left him weak on one side, with slurred speech and difficulty swallowing—even more difficult for Grandma to deal with was his inability to recognize her as his wife of 40 years. He frequently tried to get away from her and “go home” to another place. He kept trying to find an old girlfriend, so Grandma had to watch him constantly. He lived another year and a quarter. ↑
10 Cemetery: Letart Falls Cemetery, where the littlest of Mom’s three little “stair-steppers” is now buried. Audrey was three years, six months old when she died (Daybook I: 07/17/1938). ↑
Mom’s great-uncles on her mother’s side of the family. While they fought for the Confederacy, Mom’s grandfather Buzz (Barzilla) Jewett fought in the Union Army before he was married. (See Daybook V, footnotes 86, 97, and 88 for Buzzy’s war record.)
The Archer family tree includes generation 5’s John Archer who married Amy Buck. Sampson Archer, his son (our great-great-grandfather) had 12 children: James Spence, Mary E., George P., John Wythe, Sarah Ann, Lydia Jane, Judia (Judy) Frances, Andrew Jackson (Jack, Mom’s maternal grandfather), Ballard, Harriet Lucinda, William Howard, and Jasper Archer. (In 1861, James would have been 29, George was 27, John was 24. Ballard was only 9 years old, but he drove a wagon of corn with ammunition hidden underneath during the conflict. Buzz Jewett was 19.) ↑
12 When West Virginia was set off: June 20, 1863, was the day W. Va. became the 35th State in the Union, the only state born out of the armed conflict of the Civil War. The three primary reasons W. Va. wanted to break way from her mother state, Va., were inequality in taxation, unequal representation in the legislature, and unequal distribution of funds for public works, in which the eastern part of the state was historically favored. On Apr. 20, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation through which, 60 days later, W. Va. became a state, and Wheeling became its first capital. ↑
13 Judy Caldwell: Mom’s great-aunt, Judia Caldwell, née Archer (b:24 Feb 1845, in Virginia, now W.Va.; d:26 Nov 1929). She eloped and married J.Hugh Caldwell. ↑
14 Feb. 14: Mom makes no mention of their ninth wedding anniversary today. ↑
15 “Are they twins?”:
Mom makes all our dresses. She has always made identical dresses, even when Audrey was alive. She seems to like the attention this causes. On Aug. 28, 1939, she notes that we weigh exactly the same: 40 lbs.
“This may gratify Mom, but it was problematical for me. As a socially insecure country child already who had had very little interaction with other children, I really disliked the duplicity and ambiguity of being a ‘twin’ since we were also asked the same question. I suspect it was even more difficult for Ellie because she was a grade behind me in school. Did that make her the ‘dumber’ twin?” [Ruth] ↑
16 Went out and got Dad and Mom:
Dad had borrowed Granddad’s Ford.
“Soon after that Granddad’s old Model-T sat in the barn, gathering dust. It was strictly off limits for children, and we knew better than to tempt Grandma’s wrath.” [Ellie] ↑
17 Ralph cut [Granddad’s] hair and shaved him: There were no electric razors in those days. Granddad was frail, and Dad had to shave him the old-fashioned way, lathering up with a shaving brush and applying a straight razor to the beard. Barbering was another of Dad’s many talents. ↑
18 “Will [Granddad] ever come again?”: He didn’t. Currently (2010) it is believed that atherosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”) plays a role in Alzheimer’s dementia. The causes of Alzheimer’s are unknown, but the symptoms are real and progressive: loss of memory and ability to reason and communicate, loss of bladder control and physical functions, personality and behavioral changes, and, eventually, total dependence on a caregiver. ↑
19 Hauled dirt to dirt the cabbage: To dirt, dirt up, dirting the cabbage, i.e., to throw soil against the base of plants to smother newly germinated weeds. ↑
20 House and store burned: There were many sources of ignition around the farm, including flammable liquids, faulty electrical wiring, overheated farm machinery, as well as spontaneous combustion (hay fires), chimney fires (soot), lightning strikes, and careless smokers. A fire in one building often spread to others nearby. (Half of the nation’s fire deaths occur in rural communities. See, for example, June 2, next.) Because firefighting is largely a matter of local jurisdiction in the United States, fire and rescue remains a patchwork of volunteers. In the villages in our area, water supplies were limited to the water that was carried in the tanks of responding apparatus. In this journal alone—a period of less than two years—Mom recorded two houses, two barns and a store, plus two deaths from fire, in the community. ↑
21 Snipe: probably the American woodcock, one of the earliest returning spring migrants in Ohio; it has a distinctive call and also twitters in its flight display. ↑
22 Ralph drove bus 2 trips: By two trips Mom means Dad drove a route in the morning taking children to school, and returned to pick up the children in the afternoon, retracing the route back to their homes. Between times, he worked at chores for other farmers, hauled coal or gravel, or whatever he could find for employment. See footnote: 01/29/1939, where Dad for an unknown reason no longer drove the school bus. Evidently he is again driving the school bus. ↑
23 Slip: Mom saved money by starting new plants from slips from a parent plant. ↑
24 So Ruth could be the boss: “Although Mom and Dad both drank coffee at every meal, Mom wouldn’t let us drink coffee; and when we asked to have some, too, she would solemnly state that drinking it would stunt our growth. I didn’t want Ellie to get ahead of me, so it sounded like a good plan, but it didn’t work. Ellie grew to be a little taller.” [Ruth] ↑
25 Famous Roush: Many of the Roushes are in the family tree through Mom’s mother, Margaret Jewett, née Archer. Mom’s maternal grandmother was Elizabeth (Lib) Archer, née Roush (b: 14 Oct 1852, Meigs Co., Ohio; d: 15 Oct 1914, Meigs Co.; buried in the Archer lot in Carmel Cemetery, Meigs Co.). She was the daughter of Daniel Roush (b: 20 Feb 1825; d: 4 May 1893) and Margaret (Peggy) Roush, née Aumiller (b: 25 May 1825, Mason, (W) Va.; m: 1844; d: 3 Mar 1903; buried in Carmel Cemetery). She married Andrew Jackson (Jack) Archer (b: 8 Dec 1849 in (W) Va.; d: 14 Apr 1929; buried in Carmel Cemetery) on 23 Nov 1871. They had 11 children: (Minnie) Alice, John, Margaret (Maggie), Harriet, (George) Guy, Charles Roy, Lucy Catherine, James Walter, Homer, Eva, and Sadie Archer. ↑
26 Knee-deep frogs: northern spring peeper. At the first hint of spring, he begins calling a loud, shrill, birdlike peep that to us sounds like “deep, knee-deep, knee-deep.” The spring peeper, although common, is very tiny, small enough to sit comfortably on a dime, so it’s rarely found. ↑
27 Wake the snakes: The first thunder and lightning of the spring wakes the snakes and they are out until the first thunder of fall, which returns them to their dens underground. Originally a Native American concept. ↑
28 “Cas” Warner, Mom’s aunt: Catherine (Cassie) Warner, née Roush (b: 26 Apr 1860, in Meigs Co., Ohio; d: 10 Mar 1939, in Meigs Co.; buried in Carmel Cemetery, Meigs Co.). She was the sister of Elizabeth (Lib) Archer, née Roush. (See footnote 25 above.) Her husband’s name was John Warner. They had 6 children: Emmett Roush, Zora, Eber, Dayton, Ernest, and William Warner. ↑
29 Carmel Cemetery: in Chester, Sutton Twp., Meigs Co., Ohio. Here are buried Archer: Andrew Jackson (A.J.), Elizabeth (Lib), Eva, Sadie, Homer, James Walter, Cecil Guy, Ora B., Ora L., Sarah, (George) Guy, and Ethel and Edna (twins), Also Circle: John, Sophia, Helen C., Reid A., S. Grant, Clara L., Sullivan G., G. Douglas, Elsie G., J. Madison (Matt), (Minnie) Alice, Roy D., Virgil M., Homer M., Lula, J. Cecil, Wavie Irene, Verna Mae, Francis A., E. Wesley, Emma L., Melvin G. [d. 1892], Carrie E., Augustus A., Howard W., Mary F., Melvin G. [d. 1991], and Patricia A. Also Yost: George, William, Elizabeth, and Alice A. Also several Roushes, including Elizabeth (Lib) Archer’s (née Roush) brother, William Brooks Roush and his wife Ida Shannon Roush, (Margaret Archer Jewett’s uncle and aunt), whose death Mom records in Daybook II: 08/26/1939). ↑
30 Glenn’s: Mom’s Uncle Glenn Jewett. (Everett) Glenn Jewett, b: 28 Oct 1871, d: 23 Aug 1947, both in Meigs Co., Ohio. He never married but lived a hermit-like existence on the Jewett homestead after his mother, Harriet Nease Jewett died, Mar. 24, 1922. The Jewetts moved there in 1885. Glenn is buried in Gilmore Cemetery in the Nease Settlement beside his mother. (See Daybook V: 08/25/1947 for an account of his funeral, and a short obituary pasted in at the end of Daybook V. For more on the Neases and the Jewetts, see Notes on a Family History: Meigs County, Ohio.) ↑
31 Earl Morris: Mom’s oldest sister Letha’s boy: Earl Barton Morris (b: 4 Feb 1925; d: 2 Sep 2009). He married Opal Offutt on 11 May 1943. They had one daughter, Janet Sue. ↑
32 Making garden: This is the garden for our personal use, near the house—sometimes called a kitchen garden, as opposed to a truck garden planted to fields of strawberries, tomatoes, or cabbage. Usually our truck gardens were in bottom land along the river and subject to its vagaries. Unfortunately, this one will be washed away in a hard storm Apr. 16. It was replanted, but on May 1-4 there were more frosts. On May 6 Dad disced up the garden a third time, and they both replanted as long as they could see, and planted more garden on May 8. Except for flat, river-bottom land, southeastern Appalachian Ohio is very hilly. ↑
33 Wheel-harrowed: Harrows are used to break up and cultivate the ground after plowing. The wheel or disc harrow is used to break up clods and surface crust; it is usually followed by a spike harrow to further pulverize the soil. Further see footnote 57 in Daybook I for more on the potential hazards of this method of plowing, disking, and harrowing in soil preparation. ↑
34 Johnnies: Johnny-jump-ups or violets. ↑
35 Old Ranger: Cloice Badgley’s old hunting dog. ↑
36 Cold-framed: set tomatoes in a cold frame. A cold frame is box with a transparent cover. It acts like a small greenhouse, creating a microclimate inside, protecting plants from frost. A hinged glass lid can be opened to allow in air on hot days. The sun warms the soil during the day, and then the soil releases heat into the cold frame at night, giving the plants inside some protection from freezing. It is also used to harden off seedlings in the spring. ↑
37 Court room: McCullough’s court in Pomeroy, Ohio, Meigs Co.’s seat. ↑
38 First haircut: “Ellie and I were two blue-eyed girls with white-blonde hair in identical short Dutch-boy bobs. The barber’s clippers on the backs of our necks always made us shudder. In spite of the blue-and-white striped wrap the barber tied round our necks, the short hairs that fell down the collars of our dresses prickled and itched. But it was fun to run our fingers up the bristly hairs on the backs of our heads after we were shorn.” [Ruth] ↑
39 13 flower slips: Mom took slips from flowers and shrubs to start rooted cuttings. ↑
40 Reset: replaced. Some of the cabbage transplants were not successful, and any wilted cabbage plants were replaced. ↑
41 Backward: lagging behind normal. ↑
42 “Had no school”: Dad must mean that Ellie and Ruth didn’t go to school. He records that he drove the school bus two trips. Dad and Mom fussed (quarreled) a lot. See the footnotes on Aug. 9 and Aug. 17, 1936, at the beginning of Daybook I, when the first journal was almost abandoned but for Dad’s efforts to coax Mom into continuing. ↑
43 Eighth-graders: The eighth-graders were celebrating the end of school (and their elementary school baccalaureate) on Apr. 27. In rural areas at that time the school year ended early because children were needed to help on the farm. ↑
44 Old Man’s Cave: part of a spectacular regional park located on State Route 664. Along the length of the trail a magnificent gorge cuts through the Blackhand sandstone and includes three of the park’s best-known areas: Old Man’s Cave to Cedar Falls to Ash Cave. Old Man’s Cave derives its name from the hermit, Richard Rowe, who lived in the large recess cave of the gorge. He is buried beneath its main ledge. ↑
45 Plowed, disced, and cultipacked tomato ground: A cultipacker is a piece of farm equipment, similar to a large lawn roller, that smoothes out furrows, crushes clods, and removes air pockets, forming a smooth, firm bed for seeding or transplanting. ↑
46 Started out: buds have begun swelling on the trees, a sign of spring. ↑
47 Dan’s truck:
school’s out and the bus went back to Carpenter. We again depend on others for transportation.
“During this period I remember once Mom drove Dan’s truck the short distance from his house to our house, with Ruth and me standing on the seat beside her. She was very nervous about that trip; consequently, so were we.” [Ellie] (See Daybook I: 02/13/1938, for Mom’s first driving experience.) ↑
48 Heard the first whippoorwill:
In Ohio the whippoorwill’s song is heard in spring while flowering trees are releasing their sweet perfume. The whippoorwill is so called in imitation of the peculiar mournful notes that it sings on a rising cadence: whip-poor-WILL, whip-poor-WILL, whip-poor-WILL. The males of this nocturnal species particularly love to sing at night. The birds may be hard to spot, but they are easily heard. Whippoorwills eat moths and other night-flying bugs.
Mom used to read poems to us that evoked the sound of the whippoorwill’s crying. From “Indian Lullaby” by Charles Myall:
“Rock-a-by, hush-a-by, little papoose/The stars come into the sky/ The whippoorwill’s crying, the daylight is dying/The river runs murmuring by.
“The pine trees are slumbering, little papoose/The squirrel has gone to its nest/ The robins are sleeping, the mother bird’s keeping/The little ones warm with her breast.
“Then rock-a-by, hush-a-by, little papoose/You sail on a river of dreams/ The Manitou [Indian deity] loves you and watches above you/Till time when the morning light gleams.”
And from Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, from which Mom could quote long passages:
“Peacefully slept Hiawatha, /But he heard the Wawonaissa,/Heard the whippoorwill complaining,/Perched upon his lonely wigwam.”
And another: “And the whippoorwill, Wawonaissa,/Sobbing, said, ‘O Chibiabos,/Teach me tones as melancholy,/Teach me songs as full of sadness!’”
It is an old-time saying that you can go barefoot when you hear the whippoorwill. Another folk belief is that it’s time to plant corn. Another is that when an unmarried woman hears the call of the whippoorwill she should count the number of calls: one call meant she wouldn’t be married for a year, two calls meant impending matrimony, and three calls meant she was destined to be a spinster. In Indian folklore, the whippoorwill’s repetitious calls were often considered an omen of death to the Omahas. The Utes believed that the whippoorwill was the god of the night and could magically change a frog into the moon. ↑
49 Heavies: long johns, long underwear. ↑
50 Gilmore Cemetery:
located in Sutton Twp., Meigs Co., Ohio, in proximity to the Nease Settlement and approximately two miles NNW of Syracuse, Ohio.
Here are buried many Neases, including patriarch Henry (1769-1842), his children, and grandchildren, plus a monument to his first wife Mary [Anna Maria Zerckel] (1770- bef 1825):
Henry and Mary’s [second] son: Michael Nease (1793-1871) and his wife Catherine Nease, née Wolfe (1798-1881)
Michael and Catherine’s oldest: Hannah D. Roush, née Nease (1816-1879) and husband Adam Roush (1808-1894)
Jonas Roush (1763-1850), Adam Roush’s father
Hannah and Adam’s small son: (Avery) Bennett Roush (1836-1843)
Hannah and Adams’s son: David J. Roush (1841-1935) [buried in coffin he made]
Hannah and Adam’s son: William D. Roush ( 1844-1928) ) and wife Frances M. Roush, née Wolfe (1854-1922) and their children, Eber Roush (1888-1970), Sylvia Helen Roush (1884-1961), and infant Iva Roush (1900).
Michael and Catherine’s son: Gideon J. Nease (1817-1863) and wife Eliza Jane Nease, née Jewett (1823-1863)
Gideon and Eliza Jane’s son: Garrett G. Nease (1854-1930)—with his sister Flora F. Nease (1868-1945)
Gideon and Eliza Jane’s daughter: Flora Nease (1862-1945)—with her brother Garrett G. Nease
Gideon and Eliza Janes’s infants: Laura Nease (1882-1883) and Lauretta H. Nease (1847-1848)
Michael and Catherine’s son: William H. Nease (1821-1899) and wife Margaret E. Nease, née Kalb (1826-1902)
Michael and Catherine’s son: Apperson Washington Nease (1822-1893) and second wife Mary E. (Eleanor) Nease, née Duskey (1831-1922)
Apperson and Eleanor’s children: Livonia L. Nease (1857-1934), William Gilbert Nease (1861-1954) and wife Cora Alice Nease, née Holter (1870-1933), and Luella Kate Salser, née Nease (1863-1911)
Apperson and Eleanor’s son: Arthur Clement Nease (1855-1936) and wife Cora Belle, née Sanders (1866-1908)
Michael and Catherine’s son: David M. Nease (1833-1904) and wife Elizabeth Nease, née Roush (1837-1921)
David and Elizabeth’s children: Wallie [female] Nease (1869-1949), Emory S. Nease (1865-1934), Timothy M. Nease (1867-1955) and wife Marinda I., née Martin (1877-1929), and Clyde C. Nease (1882-1951)
Daughter of Michael and Catherine’s daughter Sarah Matilda Nease Holter (1828- 1882) ) and Daniel Holter (1825-1915 or 1919?): Ellen M. Holter (1851-1943)
Michael and Catherine’s last child: Harriet Eloise Nease Jewett (1844-1922) and one of her sons: Everett Glenn Jewett (1871-1947)
Henry and Mary’s daughter: Mary Ann Wolfe, née Nease (1797-after 1860) wife of Solomon Wolfe (abt. 1794-1869?) ↑
51 Bought a truck: We have our own transportation again until the truck (probably used) is repossessed—in this case, in only 2½ months (see July 28). ↑
52 Took off: Mom broke off slips from the petunias to start rooted cuttings. ↑
53 Fishing in the river: “When Mom and Dad go fishing, it usually means we are getting really hard up and hungry; it’s not a leisure activity for them. Fortunately, there’s always the river to supply us with fish. First the Ohio, then the Hocking River, and then in Florida, where they moved after we girls were married, it was the Atlantic Ocean.” [Ruth] ↑
54 This long: Mom measured off in the journal about 1½ inches of space to indicate the size of Dad’s fish. ↑
55 Scattered stakes: Just before transplanting tomato plants, Dad first dropped stakes along the rows, after which the stakes were driven about a foot into the ground. See more detailed description in Daybook I: 04/08/1937. ↑
56 Truckers: not semi drivers, but truck farmers: farmers who grow vegetables (truck) for the market. ↑
57 Trotline: a long fishing line with many shorter lines and hooks hanging from it, probably for catfish, which are bottom feeders. One end is usually tied to a bush and the other to a rock that is dropped in the river. ↑
58 Viola: a plant related to violets and pansies, with dainty white, yellow, or purple flowers. ↑
59 Crates unloaded in the yard: There is a newspaper article at the end of Daybook II that includes a picture of the Jividen house where we are living, with the 200 strawberry crates in the front yard. Probably the man in the photo is Dad. ↑
60 Copperhead: common coppery-brown poisonous pit viper of upland eastern and central United States. ↑
61 Carry in the berries:
Each picker took a berry carrier, a flat-bottomed wooden tray with a railing around its base and a handle. Each carrier accommodated 8 berry baskets in two rows.
“Mom could keep picking if I carried her berries back to the shed. As Mom picked over a row, smaller and not quite ripe berries often went in first, and the boxes were then topped off with the riper and larger berries on top of the quart.” [Ruth] ↑
62 Sand toy: for our new sandbox (see May 17). “This little metal sand mover that scooped up sand and the small crank handle that moved a conveyor belt with its tiny buckets is the first toy I remember playing with. I do vaguely remember the little blue glass dishes Ellie and I got for Xmas 1936, but I don’t remember playing with them.” [Ruth] ↑
63 Decoration Day: originated in 1868, when Union General John A. Logan designated May 30 as a day in which the graves of Civil War soldiers would be decorated. At the turn of the century it was designated as Memorial Day, becoming a holiday dedicated to the memory of all war dead. And during the period of Mom’s journals it was the custom to remember all those who have died, whether in war or otherwise. In 1971, Federal law changed the observance of the holiday from May 30 to the last Monday in May. ↑
64 Went to the cemetery: Letart Falls Cemetery, where Audrey is buried. It’s Decoration Day. ↑
65 Coreopsis: “I picked some of Mom’s coreopsis once—after strict instructions not to pick her flowers. She put the flowers in a glass and informed me that if I liked them so much, I could sit and look at them all day: I sat and looked.” [Ellie] ↑
66 Cross’s store: a Racine institution. Even as a child Mom used to enjoy visiting Cross’s store. See Notes on a Family History: Meigs County, Ohio. ↑
67 Had trouble with Dan: another “fuss.” Probably Dad was behind on his debts. The fuss resulted in Dad’s no longer doing chores for Dan Hartinger, and so we must move out of the Apple Grove house. Dad starts working for the Barnitzes, Will and Hayman, who had a farm market. ↑
68 Old potatoes: last season’s crop, in storage. ↑
69 Bank cellar: In those days, bank cellars, or root cellars, were one of the few ways country people had of keeping things cool. Farmers not only put potatoes, turnips, and carrots in their root cellars, but their other vegetables and fruits, preserved meat, cream, milk, and butter—anything they needed to keep cool, even ice blocks (well wrapped). Although during summer months a root cellar wasn’t nearly as cold as a refrigerator, root cellars generally were 30-40 degrees cooler than daytime summer temperatures. Dad cut ours into the bank over the hill from the house, and there was only one exit, which was steeply sloped on either side. ↑
70 Churning: See footnote, Daybook I: 09/14/1938, for how Ruth was churning. ↑
71 Blacksnake: probably the black rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta), more common than the black racer (Coluber constrictor), which is faster and more nervous. The black racer is Ohio’s state reptile. ↑
72 Got a hoe and killed them: Mom killed all snakes she saw, regardless of type. She had an irrational fear of snakes, never recognizing their usefulness. ↑
73 From Lancaster in: started out selling in Lancaster and peddled along the way toward home. ↑
74 Angel cake: a light sponge cake made using 6-9 egg whites, no egg yolks. Mom seldom made angel-food cake because she felt it wasted egg yolks. ↑
75 Made some new dishtowels: Being frugal as well as poor, or being frugal because we were poor, Mom saved feed sacks and flour sacks. In this case, she unraveled the seams and hemmed some dishtowels. ↑
76 Took us out to Dad’s: “For fun, during one of these visits to Grandma’s we took turns rolling down the grass driveway spread-eagled on an old iron-rimmed wagon wheel. One of us would hold the wheel upright and give it a push after the other one was situated on the wheel, clinging by fingers and bare toes. Lots of fun! Somehow we never got hurt—must have been related to a picture that hung in Grandma’s living room, picturing two little girls walking near danger while a Guardian Angel hovers overhead protecting them from harm.” [Ellie] ↑
77 Dad doesn’t recognize Mom: See footnote: 02/19/1939, for atherosclerosis symptoms. ↑
78 Mary Ritchey: Mom’s great aunt, the daughter of Hugh Davis Ritchey and Cyrene Nease Ritchey. Cyrene was Harriet Nease Jewett’s sister. Mary was her niece. ↑
79 Cat: the kitten that Dad brought home on Nov. 22, 1938 (see Daybook I). Cats were handy for keeping down the population of mice around a farm. ↑
80 Heavenly Blue morning glories: For a decade following Audrey’s death, Mom planted Heavenly Blue morning glories, in memory of her brief life. She mentions them in Daybook II: 07/14/1939; Daybook III: 08/19, 09/03, and 09/11/1941, and 04/26 and 07/07/1943; Daybook IV: 07/26/1945 and 03/13/1947; and Daybook V: 11/06/1947. ↑
81 Tree toad: probably a gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor), the largest tree toad in the northern U.S. The adult grows to be about 2 inches. It is highly arboreal, seldom coming down from the trees except during breeding season. Tree toads have adhesive disks at the tip of each toe. ↑
82 Came for the truck: Carghill repossessed it. Again, we were without transportation. ↑
83 July 29:
“It was sometime during this period that Ellie and I seemed to be particularly difficult brats and were punished rather frequently. Mom believed that to spare the rod was to spoil the child. As a toddler I can only just remember Ellie’s being slapped and crying great sobs; it had to do with her birthday cake. That was the way it was back then; when we started to school corporal punishment was also meted out.
“When we girls were smaller, Mom kept a special wooden stick shaped like a ruler that she struck us with. She’d try to hit our backsides, but I remember once in Letart Falls when I was being held by one arm, I managed to put the other behind my back to protect my rear. She struck my fingers with a sharp cracking sound and because I suddenly yelled so much louder, she thought she had damaged my hand and stopped. Secretly, I felt quite smug.
“I’m sure we were a trial to her, and I deserved what I got, especially as the elder I was the ringleader. She was under a great deal of pressure, and we were without supervision much of the time and pretty wild. After we moved to the Jividen house the ruler had disappeared somehow. Then she’d break a low, thin branch from one of the maple trees in the yard, strip off the leaves and twigs, and apply that to our bare legs. It happened with some frequency. Once at Apple Grove, I got punished twice in one day. It left welts on my legs, and hurt. I resolved to run away, but lost my courage, and climbed far up in top of the maltreated maple tree to hide. As I sniveled, I hugged the tree trunk, assuring the tree that I bore it no grudge. Of course, after several hours, when I got hungry, I came down.
“I can remember being whipped with a switch from the plum tree even after we moved to Athens, and I was more than 11. Dad yelled at us but left our punishment strictly to Mom. Oddly enough, Mom never, not once, mentions in her journals about having to punish any of us, not even when “bad Audrey” pulled up 37 tomato plants on May 11, 1937, or when she found her clothesline short the length of a ‘skippin’ rope.’” on Dec. 29, 1939. [Ruth] ↑
84 Down as far as Plants: a community between Racine and Letart Falls, Ohio. Dad’s grandfather (see Daybook IV: 05/30/1946) and a number of other Wicklines are buried in Plants. ↑
85 Columbus: Mom went with Dad in Barnitz’s truck on a peddling trip. ↑
86 Silk: silky, as opposed to our scratchy home-made cotton underpants—probably rayon, since nylon was brand-new in 1939. ↑
87 Snake plant: sansevieria, or mother-in-law’s-tongue. ↑
88 Each a dress for school: We wore our school dresses to school and changed to old clothes when we got home. A dress was supposed to stay clean for the entire week of school; and each night we ironed the wrinkles out of the dress tail, hung it up, and put it on again the next morning. These particular dress were identical since by now Mom is purpously dressing us as twins. (See footnote: 02/14/1939.) ↑
89 Same notch: i.e., we weighed exactly the same—on an old-fashioned scale with weights that slid from notch to notch. ↑
90 Extract woman: a peddler, often in a panel truck, who offered manufactured goods of all kinds. There were various extracts like the vanilla extract this peddler was offering, or spices, a paper of needles and pins, a tin of camphor ointment, patent medicines like Carter’s little liver pills, Lydia Pinkham’s herbal tablets for women, or Sloan’s liniment. Some were selling brushes like the Fuller Brush man. Some were sponsored by a patent-medicine company like Watkins, who concocted a variety of patent medicines, pills, extracts, and powders for both man and animal. Some were offering to fix holes in cookware, some sharpened knives and tools. Because the farm wife couldn’t always get to the store, the traveling store came to her. ↑
91 Kids cut paper all over the place:
“I don’t think we had ever seen paper dolls, but we certainly couldn’t afford any. We used to make cut-out shapes from pages in magazines. I remember one magazine that hurt my feelings: the article was headed ‘Ruthie Is So Sensitive.’ What a funny thing to remember all these years! (Ellie and I were both able to read from the time we were toddlers. Mom always claimed I was reading by the age of nineteen months, when Ellie was born.)” [Ruth]
“We also cut paper for the enjoyment of cutting it, all over the second floor, where Dad had strung his wires on the joists when he wired the house for electricity. I remember once during a storm Mom ordered us upstairs to get all the scraps off the wires, saying it could cause the house to catch fire. She sat rocking and rocking in a chair near the open doorway, being very afraid of storms herself. Needless to say, we were terrified. It was certainly a fire hazard.” [Ellie] ↑
92 Ida Roush: Ida Shannon Roush (1859-1939), Mom’s great-aunt. Ida married William Brooks Roush in 1876, and they had five children: Vista, Clarence, Ben, Maud, and Nora. ↑
93 Played on the porch roof: We kids used the front second-story window to gain access to the front-porch roof, where we sometimes sat and watched whatever action there was up or down our country road. Soon bored by that, we used to dare each other to see who could lean farther out over the eaves, clinging by our toes to the edge of the roof. We never fell, though, or ever broke any bones, in our tomboy activities. ↑
94 Tribune: Pomeroy’s Tribune-Telegraph. ↑
95 Dinner box: what the current generation of schoolchildren calls a lunch box. When we were growing up meals were: breakfast in the morning, dinner at noon, and supper at night. Further, see footnote: Daybook I: 10/16/1937, for more details on our daily meals. ↑
96 Eleanor’s first day as a scholar: at Letart Falls Elementary School. Ruth is starting second grade. ↑
97 Monkey Run: a poor section of lower Pomeroy, named after the creek that flows into the Ohio at this point. A run is regional dialect for creek or stream; there are more than 100 “runs” in Ohio: Monkey Run, Sugar Run, Kerr’s Run, Nailor’s Run, Johns Run, where we girls were born, and so on. ↑
98 “Robin Redbreast,”: William Allingham (1824-1889). See the end of Daybook III for a copy of the poem. ↑
99 Skiff: a small flat-bottomed boat of shallow draft that is usually propelled with oars. ↑
100 Bear trap:
the discharge gate of an old-fashioned, manually operated wicket dam of the type constructed to deepen shallow parts of the Ohio River during this time. The bear trap served as a kind of safety valve. When the water level maintained at the dam became too high, the bear trap was lowered to permit the excess water to run out without lowering the wickets. The bear trap also allowed the passage of driftwood and ice buildup in winter. It was always located on the opposite side of the river from the lock and was very dangerous to approach when open.
The name comes from the appearance of the trap when it is raised. It forms an A-like structure that resembles the deadfall the old settlers used in trapping bears. ↑
101 Chassis: Dad probably scraped part of the bed of the truck off on a low underpass; it’s happened before. See also the last entry this month, where it happened to two colleagues. ↑
102 Call: the nearest telephone was at the dam. ↑
103 We moved today to Monkey Run:
After two years and two months at a quiet, peaceful place the three of us enjoyed for its natural rural beauty, we’re moving again. Mom hated to leave Letart Township, where she had lived for almost all of her married life. Each time Mom got the weeds whacked down, some necessities constructed, some paint and paper applied to make a place livable, we moved on.
The Monkey Run house, although it was on the main street and faced the Ohio River, was very run down and dark. Again, it was an old two-story wooden house that had been partitioned; we shared it with more poor white trash, just as we did in the Caldwell brick house in Letart Falls. The yard was overgrown, the shared privy was at a distance, the railroad not only ran along the river, but there was a spur along the creek. But there was electricity and city water from a pump in the kitchen whenever the utility bills got paid. ↑
104 Central School: The elementary school was on Main Street as well as our house. Pomeroy has been listed twice in Ripley’s Believe It or Not!—once for the Court House and the fact it’s ground-level accessible on all three floors, and the second is for the fact that there are no cross-streets in Pomeroy. There’s Main Street and Court Street. It says no other city in the U.S. can make this claim. (Pomeroy clings to the base of huge rock cliffs.) ↑
105 Washed the clothes thru the first water: That is, Mom didn’t have time to rinse the clothes, so she left them to soak for another day. See Daybook IV: footnote 10/28/1943, for description of what a job it was to wash clothes without modern conveniences. ↑
106 Frank Roush: Many of the Roushes are in the family tree through Mom’s mother, Margaret Archer Jewett. Mom’s maternal grandmother was Elizabeth Roush Archer, the daughter of Daniel and Margaret Roush, née Aumiller. Frank was the father of a couple of Mom’s classmates at Carmel School: Ada and Edson. ↑
107 Rock Springs: on the road to Athens, U.S. Route 33, near the Meigs County Fair Grounds. ↑
108 Teeter-totter: regional idiom for a see-saw. “One of the smallest, newest second-graders, I was treated to a very rough ride on the teeter-totter; and the person on the other end banged the board so hard on the ground that I flew off and struck the back of my head on the granite rocks with which the play pit was lined. The head wound bled profusely, and I still carry the scar. Ellie got a similar initiation earlier on the playground on Sept. 25. She was hit by a swing and received a cut and a black eye. In these playground wars, the walking wounded rate was high.” [Ruth] ↑
109 Spent the night: at Grandpa and Grandma’s. “It was about this time on a visit to Grandma’s that their dog Paddy bit me. I was staring and staring into his eyes because they were so beautiful. Grandma was so surprised, saying he had never bitten anyone before. I have since learned that a continuous stare into a dog’s eyes constitutes a challenge to a dog. I never went near Paddy again.” [Ellie] ↑
110 Rose Yost: Dad’s aunt, his mother Bertha’s sister. ↑
111 Married: Irene Geneva Wickline, Dad’s sister, married Earl Mooney. She later divorced him and married Linc Eaves. ↑
112 Electric turned on: 17 days without electricity after moving in. We still can’t afford to have the water turned on for a month and a half more (on Nov. 4). ↑
113 Deerfield, Mich.: Always ready to make a buck, Dad hauled coal north, turned around, and loaded up the truck with various vegetables or fruit for the Pomeroy market. Deerfield was near Saline, Mich. ↑
114 Churngold: an oleomargarine like Parkay or Blue Bonnet. Margarine was white, like shortening today, and coloring had to be added. See Daybook I: footnote 12/27/1936. ↑
115 Tommy: Mr. Thomas Kat—actually he answered to many names—was rescued and has joined us in the city. ↑
116 Rutland: a town northwest of Middleport. ↑
117 Went up home with the Wilsons: Ellie and Ruth were staying with the Bill Wilsons back in our old Apple Grove neighborhood (that Mom calls “up home”) while Mom and Dad were away. ↑
118 Unloaded coal and loaded cabbage: It was Dad’s practice to haul a load both directions. See footnote: 10/16/1939. ↑
119 Bought shoes: We enjoyed looking at our feet through the shoe-fitting fluoroscope, which was a common fixture in shoe stores during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. A typical unit consisted of a vertical wooden cabinet with an opening near the bottom into which you inserted your feet wearing your new shoes. When you looked through one of the three viewing ports on the top of the cabinet (one for the child being fitted, one for Mom, and the third for the shoe salesman), you would see a fluorescent image of the bones of your toes as well as the shadowy outline of the toe box of your new shoes. ↑
120 Breeches: a sort of jodhpur that was loose fitting around the lower trunk but tight below the knee, for wearing with high-top boots. Dad wore them while hunting. ↑
121 City water: A month and a half after moving in we could afford to have the water turned on. However, Mom would have already done the bulk of the remedial housecleaning with water hauled from elsewhere, probably the market where Dad worked. ↑
122 Outing: fabric of soft cotton flannel. ↑
123 Sept. : while living in Letart Falls in the old Caldwell brick house. ↑
124 Jividen place: the Apple Grove house, a.k.a. the Carpenter place. ↑
125 Barnitz’s: their produce business: Midway Market. ↑
126 Heating stove: Thus far the only source of heat in our side of the house has been the kitchen stove. This late in the year, an un-insulated two-floor shack like this one needs another source of heat, in this case a coal-burning stove. Even so, our water pipes regularly froze. See Jan. 22, 1940, for example. ↑
127 Sylvia and Carroll Pool: Mom’s sister Sylvia and her husband. ([James] Carroll Pool, b: 10 Jul 1899, d: 27 Jan 1978, buried in Meigs Memory Garden, m: 15 Dec 1930, to Sylvia Gertrude Jewett, b: 19 Nov 1904, d: 30 Apr 1987.) ↑
128 Letha and family: Mom’s sister Letha, her husband Clifford, and sons Earl and Carl Morris. ↑
129 Wallie Nease, Mary Nease, and Clyde Nease, Uncle John Archer:
John Archer was Grandma Jewett’s next older sibling (b: 24 Sep 1874; d: 23 Nov 1974.) Lived to be over 100, buried at Coolville, Ohio.
Wallie, Mary, and Clyde were part of David M. Nease’s family. David was Mom’s Grandmother Harriet (née Nease) Jewett’s next older brother (b: July 08, 1833; d: July 14, 1904, buried in Gilmore); Walla (called Wallie, b: 10 Dec 1869; d: 6 Mar 1949, buried in Gilmore, Nease Settlement. She never married.); Mary (b: 19 Feb 1862); and Clyde C. (b: 1882; d: 1951, buried in Gilmore.)
Mom said the gossip was that Clyde was the illegitimate son of Mary Nease and George Reefer; he lived with David Nease and his wife Elizabeth (née Roush). (Elizabeth was 45 when Clyde was born in, Mary was 20. Elizabeth’s last child before that was in 1869, an 11-year gap, although not impossible.) ↑
130 Kat: Mom first mentioned him in Daybook I: 11/22/1938, when she says Dad “brought home kind of a Persian kitten,” meaning that it had longer hair than usual. In his brief life, he was called variously Kitty, Tommy Cat, Thomas Kat, Mr. Kat, Mr. Thomas Kat, and Tommy Kat. He was quite a character. (See June 24, 1939, afraid of thunder; July 10 and 31, caught snakes; Aug. 8, tail caught in mowing machine; Sept. 5, squalled when we started school; Sept. 24, ran away from movers; Oct. 21, likes ice cream, slaw, and sour kraut; Nov. 5, rattles doorknob to be let in.) And we never did again have a cat so amusing. ↑
131 1000 Poems for Children: Elizabeth Sechrist, ed. ↑
132 By Wagon and Flatboat: 1938, Enid La Monte Meadowcroft. ↑
133 Anxious to read: The sole redeeming feature about our move to the slums in Pomeroy was that the town was big enough to have a public library. We all read constantly while we were there. ↑
134 More oranges than we ever had: We usually each had an orange only at Christmastime, as a special treat. ↑
135 Piddled: To piddle around is to perform insignificant tasks. ↑
136 Jessie Roush: Many of the Roushes are in the family tree through Mom’s mother, Margaret (née Archer) Jewett. Mom’s maternal grandmother was Elizabeth (née Roush) Archer, the daughter of Daniel and Margaret Roush, née Aumiller. Jessie was born in 1871. She and her husband Ephraim were the parents of several of Mom’s classmates at Carmel school, Jay, Laura, Leverett, and John Roush. See class photos in Notes on a Family History: Meigs County, Ohio. ↑
137 Richard Carvel: 1899 novel, Winston Churchill. ↑
138 Eleanor stayed by herself: Mom and Dad left us alone a lot, as they couldn’t afford a baby sitter, nor did they trust the kind of neighbors we had to look after us. While alone, at 6 and 7 years old, we did some foolish and sometimes dangerous things, but we both survived. ↑
139 Went up to Ewing’s: a store in Pomeroy. ↑
140 Hendrix: This is the family that lives in the other side of the house. Her first name is Phine (Josephine). See Daybook VI: 10/30/1950, for notice of her death. ↑
141 Lady of the Limberlost: Biography of Gene Stratton Porter, 1928, by Jeanette Porter Meehan. ↑
142 Psychology of Happiness: Walter B. Pitkin, 1929. ↑
143 A John Martin book: John Martin’s Book House, publisher of children’s illustrated books. ↑
144 Old man: referring to our Dad. Mom sometimes had spurts of “kittenish” comportment. ↑
145 Took our good old time: would not be hurried. Mom’s method of shopping was to go into every store methodically and look at everything available, up and down all the aisles, then retrace her steps and make her choices, even when a “bargain” appeared that was not on her current list, satisfied that she had spent her money wisely. ↑
146 Buy stockings: the stockings were to wear. We never hung Xmas stockings. ↑
147 Handkerchief: a cotton headscarf, often fringed, which we tied under the chin. We usually wore a headscarf instead of a hat or a cap. ↑
148 Popcorn balls: Like peanut brittle, Dad only made popcorn balls durning cold, dry weather. Although we had lots of popcorn balls, the earliest date recorded in these journals was Dec. 14, the latest Jan. 12, a span of about a month in the dead of winter. ↑
149 Shaved: For the first time after recovering from chickenpox Dad was able to shave because his scabs had dropped off. Dad had caught chickenpox from us; and had broken out on Dec. 21. Dad had not had chickenpox as a child, and he was quite cross with Ellie and Ruth because they had infected him over the holiday. ↑
150 (Symbol in parentheses): Periodically Mom includes a dollar amount or a cryptic symbol to indicate something she wants to keep track of in her journals. These are enclosed in parentheses after the date. She also sometimes pastes in an article cut from a newspaper or magazine. ↑
151 Clothesline short just the length of a “skippin’ rope”: “No doubt somebody got switched, although Mom never once in the nine journals mentions punishing any of us. We were still being whipped when we moved to Athens.” [Ruth] (See also footnote: 7/29/1939.) ↑
152 The Last Trail: a Story of Early Days in the Ohio Valley: Zane Grey, 1909 novel. ↑
153 Thunder Mountain: Zane Grey, 1935 novel. ↑
154 Flowers were frozen in the kitchen: always the warmest room in the house! For heat we had two stoves, the coal-burning kitchen range and the coal heater in the living room. Mom always banked the fire in the heater against the cold when she went to bed but she had to rekindle both fires in the morning. ↑
155 The Scouts of the Valley: Joseph A. Altsheler, 1911 semi-autobiographical novel. ↑
156 Arizona Ames: Zane Grey, 1932 novel. ↑
157 Betty Zane: Zane Grey, 1904 novel. Inspired by the life and adventures of his own great-great grandmother, Betty Zane was Zane Grey’s first novel and launched his career. Zane Grey was born in Zanesville, Ohio, and he was originally named Pearl Grey. ↑
158 Jan. 7, 1940:
[Newspaper clipping from the Athens Messenger.] “Meigs Citizens Walk, Skate On River Over Week-End” “Middleport—The siren of the Middleport Volunteer Fire Department fire truck was sounded Sunday afternoon at 4:30 o’clock, as firemen and Mayor C.O. Fisher issued a warning to skaters and those who were crossing the frozen-over Ohio River that wickets had been let down at the dam upriver [#24, mile 242, between Racine and Syracuse], and a huge ice gorge more than a mile in length was pushing down stream. Despite the warning many last-minute pedestrians, who sought the novelty of having ‘walked’ across the Ohio River hurried over and back. (¶) After twenty years, a wish of Miss Alice Jane Lambert was fulfilled Sunday afternoon. When a small child, Miss Lambert, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E.L. Lambert, Pearl St., was denied the novelty of walking across the Ohio River with other members of her family, because of her tender age. She never quite forgot the incident, so on Sunday, Miss Lambert who now lives in Greenville, S.C., but is the guest of her parents, in company with her brother-in-law, D.C. Miller, realized her childhood ambition of walking across the Ohio River. (¶) Seen on the ice earlier in the afternoon were Mr. and Mrs. William Haptonstall, David Darts Sr., who had skated there during freezes 20 or more years ago, Mrs. J.E. Ryan and sons, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Reed, Mrs. Harry Russell, who walked across to Clifton, her former home and back, Mrs. Norman Wayland and son; Dr. and Mrs. F.M. Cluff, Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Reichman, daughter Diane; Miss Kathryn Marteney and John Martin Mygatt, Mr. and Mrs. Emmett Shuler. Skating down from Pomeroy, a distance of more than two miles were C.P. Bradbury, son Charles, Lewis Sauer, and James Clark. (¶) An automobile full of young men almost became involved in an accident, when they attempted to drive across the river. As the front wheels left the levee, they broke through the shore ice, and it was with difficulty that the machine was extricated. (¶) A constant line of Pomeroy residents also walked across the river on the ice Sunday, apparently with no other purpose except to be able to say that they had done it. Pomeroy skaters were numerous, and found the ice in good condition. (¶) This is the first time since 1917 that the river has been frozen sufficiently to be safe for skating.”
“And we were able to watch all this from our front window.” [Ruth] ↑
159 Hash Knife Outfit: Zane Grey, 1933 novel. ↑
160 Turned off our electric today: The utility company turned off our electricity for nonpayment. Not only is it bitter wintry weather, we are now in the dark, except for kerosene lamps, and Ellie has a bad cold. ↑
161 John William Blaettner: A second-grade classmate of Ruth’s—his father and grandfather owned the Buick car dealership on Main Street. ↑
162 Pasted-in article [no source, no date]: “Ohio Is Again Frozen Over. Pomeroy—With the Ohio River again frozen several venturesome persons crossed on the ice Sunday. The river is regarded as more dangerous than before, due to the fact that it is not frozen across in a solid sheet of ice. The surface is formed of ice cakes that were gradually forced together. The surface is rough and of uneven thickness. There is no smooth ice good for skating except along the shore where there are sections here and there which had not broken away after the first freeze.” ↑
163 McGuffey: a village northwest of Columbus, Ohio. ↑
164 Heritage of the Desert: Zane Grey, 1932 novel. Almost all of these old books that Mom read are available online for download. ↑
165 Hen cookies: Probably because Mom had no other fat, she used the chicken fat from the hen she killed and cooked on Jan. 27 in place of lard or butter. The function of fat in baking is to contribute to the flavor and flow of the cookie in the oven and to make the cookie tender and moist by inhibiting gluten development in the flour. It also adds some leavening to the process. (Chicken fat is not as good as butter for flavor, however.) ↑
166 Underwear: long underwear. Also union suit, long johns, this was a warm one-piece cotton or woolen garment, with long arms and long legs and a flap in the back; the legs of the underwear made an ugly bulge at the ankles in the long stockings, which were pulled up over the long underwear, up over the knees, and then rolled down over home-made elastic garters which held the stockings in place. ↑
167 The Crossing: Winston S. Churchill, 1913 novel. ↑
168 A dark, ugly day: If our electric bill is still delinquent, it’s understandable that yesterday morning Ellie pulled on one brown and one black shoe in the murk of our shared bedroom upstairs. ↑
169 Democrat: an old Pomeroy weekly newspaper, which began in 1888. The Pomeroy Library has incomplete issues from 1889 to 1941. ↑
170 Little Women: Louisa May Alcott, 1868 novel. ↑
171 Kids cut out: We loved to cut up paper—animals, paper dolls, geometric shapes, doilies, yards of paper chains. Mom has pasted an elephant, a dinosaur, and a rabbit on p. 96 of this journal. The kid who did it is unidentified. ↑
172 Swanee River: 1939 Technicolor movie, directed by Sidney Lanfield, starring Don Ameche, Al Jolson. This is the first movie Mom mentions by title. In Daybook I she mentions going to six “shows”: 3 in Charleston, W. Va., and one each in Clyde, Lancaster, and Racine, all while on peddling trips. In this journal she mentions going to three “shows” in Charleston and then she records this one by name and venue. From this time forward, she often cites the title of the film. (Generally accepted: 1927 is the year of the first talkie, and 1929 the first movie in Technicolor; the first Oscars also were in 1929.) ↑
173 Antik: Antiquity, between Letart Falls and Pomeroy. “This section of road, blasted out of solid rock and dropping off sharply to the Ohio River, always terrified me, and sometimes figured in my nightmares. I remember a house that had a boulder as big as the house itself resting in the yard at Antiquity. The road terrified Mom and Aunt Sylvia as well in their day.” [Ruth] (See Notes on a Family History: Meigs County, Ohio.) ↑
174 Children of Ol’ Man River: Capt. Billy Bryant, 1936 biography. The life and times of a show-boat trouper. ↑
175 The Great American Novel: Clyde Davis, 1938 novel. ↑
176 7-day book: New or popular books could only be borrowed from the library for seven days. ↑
177 Kettle for a flower: Mom has found a discarded metal container at a dump beside the road and will use it to pot up a plant. Before there was garbage pick-up service, country people just threw trash down over any hill where there was a gully, and soon the spot became a dumping ground. We children used to like to go scavenging in these dumps, like dumpster “diving” today, perhaps. ↑
178 Grandma Called It Carnal: Bertha Clark Damon, 1938 memoir of her Grandmother Griswold. ↑
179 The Mortal Storm: Phyllis Bottome, 1937 novel; a plea for people of conscience to fight the rising menace of fascism. ↑
180 Northwest Passage: 1940 movie, directed by King Vidor, starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Young. ↑
181 The Fighting 69th: 1940. World War I story based on the famed New York Irish 69th Regiment and its beloved chaplain, Father Francis Duffy, played in the movie by Pat O’Brien. James Cagney plays another member of the regiment. Directed by William Keighley. ↑
182 Drums Along the Mohawk: Walter Edmonds, 1936 novel. ↑
183 Kindred of the Dust: Peter Kyne, 1920, a love story set in the Northwest. ↑
184 Helen Green: one of our few and infrequent babysitters. See, for example, 03/23/1937. ↑
185 Ole Man Adam and His Chillun: Roark Bradford, 1928, Bible tales in told in southern African-American dialect. ↑
186 Five Little Peppers and How They Grew: Margaret Sidney (pseudonym of Harriet Stone Lothrop), 1881. First of a popular series of books about the fictional Pepper family. ↑
187 Groundhog: an African-American neighbor. See footnote: 04/17/1940, for more about them. ↑
188 Jividen place: the house in Apple Grove where we moved from. ↑
189 The Seven Ages of Woman: Compton Mackenzie, 1923 novel. ↑
190 Finished Eleanor’s jumper: a sleeveless, collarless dress designed to wear over a blouse or sweater. It could also be a skirt with an attached bib and straps that crossed over the shoulders to fasten onto the back of the skirt band. ↑
191 The Bluebird: 1940 fairytale movie starring Shirley Temple. “The first movie I remember well. I was eight.” [Ruth] ↑
192 A Far Country: 1916 novel by Winston Churchill. ↑
193 Green Springs: in the vicinity of Bowling Green/Findlay area of Ohio. ↑
194 Both on the honor roll: The school’s honor roll was based on grades and attendance. Students who had an A or B in all subjects as well as perfect attendance were listed on the honor roll and didn’t have to go to school on one designated day per term. We always had the grades; we didn’t always have perfect attendance. ↑
195 Mr. “Groundhog,” et al.: local African-Americans. Monkey Run, where we lived, had quite a few African-American families. Their dress was sometimes foreign to us in our feed-sack dresses and overalls. ↑
196 Dad died: Emmett Grant Jewett’s obituary is pasted in at the end of the journal. (See transcript at the end of this journal.) ↑
197 Church: Sutton Methodist Church on Bashan Road. Sutton Township, Meigs County, Ohio. ↑
198 Frances Jewett: Mom’s Aunt Frances (née Lawrence) Jewett (b: 5 Dec 1876, m: 19 Dec 1906), wife of Earl, our Granddad Jewett’s youngest brother. ↑
199 Earl: (Charles) Earl Jewett, Granddad’s youngest brother, from Portland, a village in Meigs Co., Ohio. (b: 3 May 1877; d: after 1956, Portland.) ↑
200 Glenn: (Everett) Glenn Jewett, Granddad’s unmarried brother, a hermit living on the Jewett home place. (b: 28 Oct 1871, Meigs Co., Ohio; d: 23 Aug 1947, Meigs Co., buried in Gilmore Cemetery, Nease Settlement, Meigs, Co.) ↑
201 Sutton Cemetery: located in Sutton Twp., Meigs Co., Ohio. Here are buried Jewett: Levater & Cornelia, Emmett G. & Margaret Archer Jewett. Also Morris: Clifford & Letha (née Jewett) Morris and his relatives. Also Charles D. and Lois L. Circle, as well as a number of Roush relatives. ↑
202 Emmett’s father:
Barzilla (b: 16 Sep 1842; m: 08 Feb 1866; d: 17 Sep 1924), son of Shorah Jewett (b: 20 Aug 1806; m: 1838; d: 11 Mar 1887) and Shorah’s first wife, Abigail, née Elliott (b: 5 Mar 1815; d: 25 Jan 1852).
Buzzy’s wife was Harriet Eloise (née Nease) Jewett (b: 23 May 1844; d: 14 Mar 1922), 12th and youngest child of Michael Nease (b: 20 Aug 1793; d: 19 Feb 1871) and Catherine (née Wolfe) Nease (b: bet 11 Sep 1796-1797; m: 29 Jun 1815; d: 1881).
Buzzy and Harriet had four boys: Melvin Audell Jewett, called Delly (b: 1867, d: 20 Nov 1868, buried in De Soto, Kan., cemetery); Emmett Grant Jewett (b: 10 May 1870, d: 18 Apr 1940, buried in Sutton Cemetery, Meigs Co., Ohio); Everett Glenn Jewett, called Glenn (b: 28 Oct 1871, d: 23 Aug 1947, buried in Gilmore Cemetery, Nease Settlement, Meigs Co.); and Charles Earl Jewett, called Earl (b: 3 May 1877, d: 1960, buried in Browning Cemetery, Lebanon Twp., Meigs Co.).
The marriage was an unhappy one. Buzzy is buried in the Red Brick Church Cemetery, Bashan, Ohio, beside his father and mother, his stepmother and younger brother, Quincy, who died at age 7, while Harriet is buried in Gilmore Cemetery, Nease Settlement, Sutton Twp., Meigs Co., Ohio, beside her bachelor son, Glenn, and near her father and several sister and brothers, nieces and nephews.
For a list of the Neases who founded the Nease settlement in Meigs Co., Ohio, and are buried in Gilmore, see footnote 50. For Mom’s account of their early history, see Notes on a Family History, Meigs County, Ohio. ↑
203 Ewing’s cellars: Pomeroy is perched between the river and huge rocky cliffs. Some of the local market owners used cool caves (cellars) for storage of their produce. Mom and Dad were sitting on the cliffs above the market. ↑
204 Helen of the Old House: Harold Bell Wright, 1921 novel full of Christian teaching. ↑
205 Week out of school due to high water: Central School was on the main street—which in 2010 seems to be named Bridge St.—facing the Ohio River and there were frequent floods. ↑
206 Elmer Jewett’s: Kansas branch of the family. She was informing them of Granddad’s death; they were related through Shorah Jewett’s brother, Barzillai Jewett. (b: 01 Aug 1989, d: 07 Jan 1870; m: Rebecca Jane Todd (b: 28 Apr 1800, d: about 1881). Both Shorah and Barzillai were sons of Mark Jewett and Patience (née) Varney Jewett. ↑
207 Laddie: Gene Stratton-Porter, 1913 novel set in rural Indiana. ↑
208 Eva and Sadie:
Archer, Mom’s old-maid aunts, two of our Grandma Maggie Archer Jewett’s sisters. Eva never married. Eva was a teacher; she taught Mom (her niece) in a one-room schoolhouse, Carmel School, in 1920-21. Eva was struck by lightening while teaching. (See story in Notes on a Family History: Meigs County, Ohio.) Eva compiled much of the immediate Archer family tree. She and her youngest sister, Sadie, lived in the Parsonage at Bashan, Ohio, along with their brother, James Walter Archer. It was rebuilt in 1887. Sadie and Walter also never married.
They were among the eleven children of Andrew Jackson (Jack) Archer (b: 08 Dec 1849; d: 14 Apr 1929) and Elizabeth (Lib) (née Roush) Archer (b: 14 Oct 1852; d: 15 Oct 1914): (Minnie) Alice (b:15 Sep 1872; d: 08 Jan 1950); John (b:24 Sep 1874; d: 23 Nov 1974); Margaret (Maggie) (b: 07 Jan 1877; d: 13 Nov 1953 [our maternal grandmother]); Harriet May (b: 21 May 1879; d: 24 Sep 1882); George (Guy) (b: 02 Oct 1881; d: 13 Mar 1946); Charles Roy (b: 07 Feb 1884; d: 24 Apr 1947); Lucy Catherine (b: 15 June 1886; d: 25 Dec 1887); James (Walter) (b: 05 May 1888; d: 20 Aug 1977); Homer (b: 08 Jun 1890; d: 10 May 1913); Eva (b: 10 Dec 1893; d: 26 Aug 1982); and Sadie Archer (b: 10 Sep 1898; d: 24 Oct 1973).
A.J. (Jack); his wife (Lib); their oldest, Minnie Alice Archer Circle, and her husband James Madison (called Matt); Alice and Matt’s daughters Verna Mae and Wavie Irene; Alice and Matt’s son (James) Cecil; Alice and Matt’s son Homer Madison Circle and his wife Lula (née Wilson) Circle; and their infant Virgil M, and young son Roy Dale Circle (killed by lightning); A.J.’s son John’s first wife, Ora B. Archer, née Staats; George Guy Archer (called Guy); Ora Louise (née Bailey) Archer, Guy’s wife; their son Cecil Guy (who drowned); their twin infants Ethel and Edna); James Walter; Homer (who died of typhoid fever); Eva; and Sadie Archer; along with Sarah Archer, née Fisher who was A.J.’s mother, are all buried in Carmel Cemetery, Sutton Twp., Meigs Co., Ohio. I’m sure A.J.’s and Lib’s infant daughter Lucy Catherine Archer (b: 15 Jun 1886; d: 25 Dec 1887), although not listed, is buried there too. ↑
209 Picked a big bunch of lilacs: “Appropriated from someone’s yard, I’m sure.” [Ruth] ↑
210 Vaccinated for diphtheria: Country children seldom saw a doctor. As a result diphtheria immunizations were given at school, as were the typhoid series of shots after a big flood. Ruth was vaccinated for diphtheria last year in Letart Falls. ↑
211 Grandmother Jewett: Harriet Eloise Jewett, née Nease. She was the twelfth and last child of Michael Nease and Catherine (née Wolfe) Nease, who founded the Nease Settlement. Also see Notes on a Family History: Meigs County, Ohio, the early history, circa 1790 to circa 1922. as told to Grace Jewett Wickline by her grandmother Harriet Nease Jewett. ↑
212 Hiawatha: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1854. ↑
213 Quote from Hiawatha: written as Mom was planning how to get her flowers to Audrey’s grave on Decoration Day, which is six days away. Mom always felt that Audrey was her “Laughing Water,” such a happy child, such a sunny disposition. ↑
214 Melvin Paulin: nephew of Harriet Nease Jewett, only child of Harriet’s older sister, Mary Ann (Polly) Nease Paulin and Daniel Paulin. Melvin Paulin was married 30 Dec 1888 to Mary née Rose. They celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary at their home in the Nease Settlement. See newspaper announcement and embedded footnote at the end of Daybook I. He died not long thereafter: 28 May 1940. ↑
215 Had a flat and sat till morning: “I wonder what Ellie and I did when Mom and Dad didn’t come home. (There was no way to contact us; we didn't have a phone.) However, we were not unaccustomed to fending for ourselves. For example, on Feb. 1 when Mom, Dad, and Ellie did not get home before the school bus brought me home I walked down the road to Miss Parr’s. In Daybook I on Christmas Day, 1938, Ellie and I were left alone and when Mom came back she found that I had the front door locked and the back door propped shut with a chair ‘to keep strangers out.’” [Ruth] ↑
216 Care of our [cemetery] lot: Mom had a deed to Audrey’s plot (Lot E-20) in Letart Falls Cemetery; Ruth now has it. Mom paid an annual fee to the caretaker to keep the grave mowed. And she kept flowers growing on the grave for at least ten years after Audrey died. ↑
217 Hendrix: one of the family living in the other side of the house. ↑
218 France fell:
at the outbreak of the Second World War the Allies held their forces behind fixed defenses, notably the Maginot Line. In contrast, the Germans had developed the concept of blitzkrieg or rapid penetration on a narrow front by armored and motorized infantry, with close air support. On May 26, exposed by the capitulation of the Belgians, the British expeditionary force of some 250,000 men had to be withdrawn, chiefly from the beaches of Dunkirk, resulting in Hitler's lightning victory over France in May and June of 1940. The German army entered Paris on June 14.
After the Fall of France on June 17, 1940, and the resulting armistice on June 22, France was divided in two zones, one occupied by the Germans, and the other an ostensible “Free Zone,” administered by the French government, which under Marshal Henri-Philippe Petain, a French World War I hero, then established its capital in Vichy, France. French armed forces were disarmed and the French navy confined to its harbors, where for two years it remained inactive. Ultimately as the Germans made a drive to seize their ships, the French were forced to scuttle a good part of the fleet that was anchored at Toulon Bay. See Daybook III: footnote 11/27/1942. ↑
219 Hair cut: Ellie and Ruth wore their blonde hair in a Dutch-boy bob. How the stubble from the razor prickled each time we got it cut! ↑
220 “The Cooky Jar Men”: the text of the poem is at the end of this journal, along with some other things Mom wanted to remember. ↑
221 Mary: Mary Ellen Jewett, Mom’s youngest sister, was in nurse’s training in Parkersburg, W. Va. and has come home for a visit. Mom noted that she finished the three-year course on Sept. 13, 1940. ↑
222 Looked like she was afraid:
Probably Grandma was very anxious: she’d have first heard and then seen an unfamiliar car slowly making its way down the long, winding lane toward the house, with dusk coming on, and Granddad only recently buried.
“Grandma was often afraid. The path by the chicken house was her escape route, up through the hollow to her daughter Letha’s house. During my summer vacations with her, she would send me down that path to the creek when a strange car came down the lane. After Grandpa died, she was quite afraid of a lot of things—storms, sounds in the nighttime, the dogs barking after dark, unfamiliar cars approaching. She could not, however, be persuaded to leave the old home place, living another 13-plus years there alone until her death on Nov. 13, 1953.” [Ellie] ↑
223 The Grapes of Wrath: 1940 movie, John Ford directing, starring Henry Fonda. ↑
224 Put up: meaning that Mom canned pickles—of course, after which she put them up on the pantry shelves. ↑
1940, the second feature-length animated film by Disney. In this film the incomparable Mel Blanc is the voice (uncredited) of Cleo, Figaro, Gideon, and others.
“I clearly remember this film, along with The Bluebird.” [Ruth] ↑
226 Midway Market: Will Barnitz (and sons) owned Midway Market, and Tom Leifert owned Front St. Market. ↑
227 Lowe house: within walking distance up the hill from the Main St. house, which we’d lived in for 10 months, the Lowe house (on Locust St.) was a much better house than the wretched two-family wreck we were living in (although still in Monkey Run). It had inside plumbing and a yard that sloped down to the creek. There was room for the 10 chicks that Mom got for us on June 5. The chicks were getting too big to live in a box in our bedroom. We lived in the Lowe house for only seven months. ↑
228 “Life and Letters”: The Lady of the Limberlost, the Life and Letters of Gene Stratton-Porter, Jeannette Porter Meehan, 1928. ↑
229 “Beegie”: an African-American neighbor. See footnote: 04/17/1940. Mom enjoyed talking with this family, who seemed to be good neighbors, unlike the lawless tribe living in the other side of the house. ↑
230 Cabinet and cupboard: Mom had a kitchen cabinet in which she stored food, groceries, and other kitchen necessities. Her kitchen cupboard was similar in appearance, but it had drawers and shelves for storing dishes and utensils, pots and pans. She painted her cabinet and cupboard to match. To Mom these two items seemed to make a house a home. Although we lived in eleven different houses, while other furniture came and went Mom had these two pieces long after we girls were grown. ↑
231 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: Mark Twain, classic 1876 novel . ↑
232 Three “beatin’s”: from Dad, Ellie, and Ruth. Mom’s 32, and according to custom she’d get 32 swats on the fanny, one for each year. ↑
233 Miss Smith: “I think she was the music teacher at Central School. I can still remember some of the songs the music teacher taught us in school: ‘Robin, dear, I love you so, I really wonder if you know . . .’ and ‘Clickety, clack, a-lunk, a-lunk, the train is coming, a-chunk, a-chunk. . . .’ (Because there was a parlor organ at home while Mom was growing up, she had learned to play hymns by ear.) But we had no piano; I can’t imagine what Ellie and I practiced on, unless after school on a school piano. The arrangement must have soon fallen through because there is no further mention of either lessons or piano practice; and I have no recollection of lessons till I began going to Pomeroy on the bus from Syracuse to take lessons from Mrs. James Lochary in Jan. 1942.” [Ruth] ↑
including iridescent-gold Cleo that Mom had for over five years (Daybook IV: 12/05/1944).
“I remember my favorite fish was a black one with two feathery tails and huge goggly eyes.” [Ellie] ↑
235 Her Father’s Daughter: Gene Stratton-Porter, 1921, one of her last novels. ↑
236 Octagon coupons: Harsh lye soap and soap products that contained coupons redeemable for merchandise. ↑
237 Homing with the Birds: Gene Stratton-Porter, 1919 nature book. ↑
238 What I Have Done with Birds: Gene Stratton-Porter, 1907, collection of bird photography and bird notes. ↑
239 (Symbol in parentheses): Periodically Mom includes a dollar amount or a cryptic symbol to indicate something she wants to keep track of in her journals. These are enclosed in parentheses after the date. She also sometimes pastes in an article cut from a newspaper or magazine. ↑
240 Painting: a crew was giving the Lowe house a coat of paint, and we will soon have to move. The house and yard now are quite livable. ↑
241 Sent out tomatoes and corn to be canned: Mom and Dad sometimes hired someone else to can produce for them. It was more economical than buying canned goods at the grocery. Currently they had no garden to supply the produce, but they could get it cheaply from the market where Dad worked. The corn Mom cut off the cob made 41 cans and the 3 bushels of tomatoes made 61 cans—see Aug. 19. ↑
242 Rooster did his best to crow: To earn money, Ellie and Ruth are raising 10 White Rock chickens that Mom got for us June 5. At least one, obviously, was a rooster. ↑
243 Birds of the Bible: Gene Stratton-Porter, 1909. ↑
244 Door of the playhouse fell on Nelly and mashed her:
Nelly was one of the 10 White Rock chicks Mom got for us on June 5.
“As they grew Nelly didn’t thrive like the other chicks and was a very bedraggled looking specimen, perhaps from too much handling—by us or at the hatchery. At any rate, she became my special pet—pitiful, scrawny, featherless creature that she was. The demise of Nelly due to the decrepit door of the shack we were using as a playhouse was a disaster to me. I sobbed my heart out as Ruth and I buried her with appropriate ceremony.” [Ellie] ↑
245 Roll her over the hill: “I remember how Mom laughed when she threatened to roll me down the hill to smash the crockery storage jar. (It was big enough that I had tried to hide in it.) She usually covered her mouth with a hand, as is the Japanese custom. In her case, though, it was a habit that came from years of hiding bad, rotting, or missing teeth.” [Ruth] ↑
246 Rode the elephant:
Mom was very angry when she learned that we had ridden the elephant. Because the carnival was camped in the creek bottom below the house, Mom had seen the elephant handler beating the recalcitrant animal earlier, had observed its ragged ears, and believed it was mean and unpredictable.
“Drumming up business, the handler had offered a free ride to some of us curious brats who were hanging around. How prickly were the stiff hairs on the elephant’s hide on our bare legs below our dress tails—girls wore dresses in those days. And how afraid I was of sliding off backward over his tail because I was the last one in a row of as many children as could be crowded astraddle the poor beast at one time.” [Ruth] ↑
247 Two dinner buckets: A dinner bucket was packed to eat at noontime. Dinner was eaten at midday, supper in the evening. Today, of course, it’s a lunch box, and dinner is eaten in the evening. ↑
248 Experiment in Autobiography: H.G. Wells, 1934. ↑
249 Sept. 3: Although not mentioned, school must have started, usually the Tue. after Labor Day. Ellie is in the second grade, Ruth in third, at Central School. ↑
250 Parade of the Animal Kingdom: Robert Hegner, 1935, an animal who’s who. ↑
251 Outline of History: H.G. Wells, 1920. ↑
252 The Oregon Trail: Francis Parkman, 1849, travel sketches. ↑
253 Uncle Remus and His Friends: Joel Chandler Harris, 1892, dialect sketches of the Southern plantation. ↑
254 [Roll of] film: for Mom’s Brownie box camera. See Daybook I: footnote 08/24/1938, for more about Mom’s camera. ↑
255 Washed things I had to have: Mom must still be “feeling poorly.” ↑
256 Beer joint: A favorite tavern of Dad’s was called the Idle Hour. Mom disapproved of alcohol consumption, just as her Dad and her Grandmother did. ↑
257 Kanauga: locally pronounced “Kuh-NOY,” in Ohio, across from Point Pleasant, W.Va. ↑
258 Killed a chicken: Seven remain of Ellie’s and Ruth’s original 10 chicks, but Mom seems to have appropriated them. She’s probably the one who’s been taking care of them anyway, and she needs something to prepare for her sister, Mary, who’s visiting. ↑
259 Eleanor’s seventh birthday: Her one present was a coloring book Mom had managed to set aside. How frequently our family fortunes seem to be at low ebb along about Ellie’s birthday in October. ↑
260 Ralph says: Actually, this was probably not a lie. Dad most likely has had a “fuss” with Tom Leifert. Certainly Mom suspects he’s not been working at the market. From this point, for a while, he worked for “Old Man” Curtis, and we soon moved again, to the storeroom over Curtis’s store, certainly a low point in all our lives. ↑
261 The draft: Dad was 35 years old in August. Although at the upper end of the age spread for the draft in WWII, he was still eligible and had to register. ↑
262 Salt works: Excelsior or White Rock?—there were several salt works near Pomeroy. Ellie and Ruth liked to climb up and slide down the huge piles of salt that were waiting to be shipped by barge or railroad car. Sometimes there were salt chutes to slide down as well. (See Daybook III: Aug. 29 and Nov. 15, 1942.) ↑
263 The Heart of Burrough’s Journals: Clara Barrus, ed., 1928. John Burroughs’s journal entries from 1854-1921. Burroughs ranked with John Muir as a nineteenth-century writer in the field of natural history. ↑
264 J.A. Curtis: J.A. Curtis: “Old Man” Curtis dealt in local furs (animal skins), second-hand furniture, and “trade” (bartering). ↑
265 Sultanas: impatiens, a summer annual bedding plant, often used in homeopathic remedies. ↑
266 A Man for the Ages:
Irving Bacheller, 1919, a story about the builders of democracy. It is also the source for her daughters’ title for these nine journals of Mom’s. It’s a fitting metaphor—being carried swiftly through life, always facing backward, only able to look at what’s behind.
Mom is very discouraged. Dad’s current behavior certainly must have caused Mom to reflect on her own past. How her beloved grandmother dealt with her own unhappy marriage to Barzilla Jewett was almost certainly uppermost in Mom’s mind as well. ↑
267 Locusts and Wild Honey: John Burroughs, 1879, essays on nature. ↑
268 German-American Bund: Established in the 1930s, it was an openly pro-Nazi organization of ethnic Germans living in the U.S. For a uniform the men wore a white shirt and black trousers, and the women wore a white blouse and a black skirt. Both sexes topped the uniform with a black hat and red symbol. Units were organized in cities that had a population with German ancestry, such as New York, Chicago, or, not far away, Cincinnati. These Nazi sympathizers held meetings in small-town neighborhoods as well, to the dismay of most German-Americans. (Further, see a local story related to the Bund that involves Christian Baer in Syracuse in Daybook III: footnote 11/19/1941.) ↑
269 Paul Alexander: see editorial pasted on p. 96 at end of this journal. ↑
270 Button box: a metal cake box. “Which I still have. Mom won it at Bingo.” [Ruth] (See Daybook I: 10/11/1938.) ↑
271 Birds and Bees, Sharp Eyes and Other Papers: John Burroughs, 1907, essays about nature. ↑
272 The Future in America: H.G. Wells, 1906 travels in America and prophesy of its future. ↑
273 God, the Invisible King: H.G. Wells, 1917, his conception of immortality. ↑
274 Chicken for dinner: Looks like we had our Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday this year. Six of our chickens remain. ↑
275 The Research Magnificent: H.G. Wells, 1915 novel. ↑
276 “Little Howard” Wolfe: 22 Feb 1868-Nov 1940, so he was 72 years of age when he died. He was the son of Peter D. Wolfe and Nancy (née Roush) Wolfe, and the grandson of Solomon Wolfe and Mary Anne (née Nease) Wolfe. A connection to Michael Nease, our great-great-grandfather. ↑
277 Kipps: H.G. Wells, 1905 novel. ↑
278 Doctor her most of the night: Eleanor was probably “doctored” with Vicks VapoRub, which Mom rubbed on the chest—with usually a dab under the nostrils—and covered the chest with a hot flannel cloth. Once inhaled, the medicated vapors were thought to relieve nasal congestion and coughing due to colds. She also probably kept the teakettle boiling to humidify the room. ↑
279 Christ in Concrete: Pietro de Donato, 1937 novel about Italian-American workers. ↑
280 Be worn tomorrow: It was a hard job for Mom to wash, starch, and iron cotton school dresses for two growing girls. We didn’t have very many dresses to begin with. We usually wore a dress for five successive weekdays, changing into “play clothes” when we got home from school. During the week we often dampened and re-ironed the crushed cotton skirts of our starched school dresses. (There were no knit cotton t-shirts and jeans back then, and certainly not slacks for schoolgirls.) ↑
281 Their chickens: Ellie and Ruth each had 3 chickens left to sell that had not already been eaten. ↑
282 Find from the books: Dad had told Mom that the fur auction in Columbus was held every Sunday, as an excuse to get out of the house, and Mom has found proof in Curtis’s business records that Dad has been lying. ↑
283 Bealed ear:
Bealed means festered, as an abscess. Growing up in the country, miles from the nearest doctor, Mom had a store of home remedies. They all seemed plausible, especially since we always recovered.
If we had a chest cold, Mom relied on Vicks VapoRub as detailed in footnote: 12/06/1940 above. When we had a fireplace, she put us in front of the fire, to “bake out” the cold. Probably the extra attention was the most effective cure.
For sore throat, Mom swore by Listerine, which we gargled. When it was not available, she sometimes used a salt and lukewarm water gargle. Some of our relatives used honey and vinegar.
For coughs due to colds, she made her own cough medicine. It tasted so horrible that we children got well in self-defense. It contained Indian turnip, elecampane, horehound, comfrey, dandelion root, and spikenard, to which she added a pint of “good whisky.” On Nov. 11, 1943, Ruth wrote in her diary, “It is the worst stuff I have ever tasted.” However, the men that Mom dosed liked it very well.
For a bealed ear, Mom’s treatment was to apply heat, often in the form of a cloth-wrapped hot baked onion. She also sometimes had over-the-counter ear drops. (Ruth suffered several ear infections as a child.)
For toothache, she gave us a whole clove to lay on the gum next to the aching tooth.
For small cuts and puncture wounds Mom variously applied lamp oil [kerosene], Mercurochrome, and tincture of iodine. The iodine really stung!
For pinworms, which we seemed to suffer periodically, she administered a vermifuge. Ruth mentions buying vermifuge on May 6, 1944.
For German measles, there was bed rest in a dark room for the duration, as daylight during this period was supposed to damage the eyes.
For constipation, the remedy was ExLax. But Mom saved the following recipe! “Camille says for locked bowels to put a quart of castor oil in a fryer (the fryer can’t be used any more), fry clean white cloths brown, take them out and fan them thru the air till cool enough to put on the patient’s bowels. She says by the time you put the 4th cloth on, ‘have your chamber pot ready.’ Camille says this has never failed her as the hot castor oil soaks up the bowels.” Fortunately, we never were quite that desperate.
Best of all when we were recovering from any ailment, Mom always made a big kettle of good ol’ vegetable soup. It was the panacea for many ills. ↑
284 Ruth got sick: Small wonder! Mom had always been so scornful of trashy, “red-neck” neighbors who hunted and ate coon and possum. We must have been in dire straits. ↑
285 Barred rock: Plymouth Rock is a breed of chicken, There are different colors that go with that breed, such as barred, white, or buff. Some people call barred rocks Plymouth Rocks, barred Plymouth Rocks, or just barred rocks. ↑
286 Tree books: “Those small, colorful books about trees were identical, but mine fascinated me. Its lovely pictures showed such essentials as foliage, flowers and seeds, trunk rings, and locale. I used my book later in a school project.” [Ellie] ↑
287 Dutch boy and girl: 5-inch blue-and-white ceramic figures, with little detachable buckets on the yokes each boy and girl was wearing. ↑
288 Sets: Everything had to be “twin,” even our Christmas gifts. But we didn’t complain: Mom tried very, very hard under appalling conditions to give her girls a nice Christmas. She was scrupulously fair, anyway. ↑
289 1001 Garden Questions Answered: Alfred Hottes, 1930. ↑
290 All This and Heaven, Too: Rachel Field, 1938 novel. ↑
291 Last day of 1940: Page splattered, five ink blotches. “Tears, maybe? I don’t remember ever seeing my mother cry. Not at funerals, not ever, although Ellie says she does. Mom was more likely to rage than to cry over things she couldn’t control.” [Ruth] ↑